The European Commission published the conclusions from its assessment of how the EU Member States are doing on fulfilling their national Roma Integration Strategies.
The assessment focused on developments in the position of Romani people since 2011 in the EU. There are between six and seven million Romani people living in the EU, nine-tenths of whom predominantly live in 11 countries of eastern and southern Europe.
"It is possible to say that the situation overall is slowly improving, for example, Romani children are attending preschool more and the proportion of Romani children dropping out of school is falling. On the other hand, from the appraisal it also follows that up to 80 % of Romani people are constantly at risk of impoverishment, although that number is lower than it was in 2011," the Commission report reads.
Romani people are also reporting less frequent discrimination in employment, job-seeking and the schools than they have reported in the past.
BASIC FINDINGS OF THE EU REPORT
Education: More Romani children are receiving early childhood care and a preschool education (53 % in 2016 compared to 47 % in 2011). The most significant improvements were noted in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Spain.
Fewer Romani children are dropping out of school (68 % in 2016 compared to 87 % in 2011). These numbers are still too high, and educational segregation remains a problem in some countries: In Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovakia more than 60 % of Romani children are educated separately from other children.
Employment: A growing proportion of Romani youth are unemployed and not attending any continuing education or professional training ( 63 % in 2016 compared to 56 % in 2011), a disturbing signal that the transition from education to employment and other areas is not effective. This negative trend is apparent in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Spain.
Health care: In many Member States insufficient coverage of Romani patients by basic health insurance remains a serious problem. For example, in Bulgaria and Romania half of the Romani population has no access to basic health insurance.
Housing: Romani households' access to basic utilities (electricity and potable water) is improving, especially in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia. However, Romani people in the Czech Republic, Portugal and Spain report they are being more frequently discriminated against when it comes to access to housing, including social housing.