There are a number of important reasons why, four years following its approval, the implementation of the National Roma Inclusion Strategy 2011-2020 has come to a near-standstill in Romania. Yet the European Commission assessment of the Strategy presents its campaigns, as well as the shrinking health mediator programme, as achievements.
The article reveals that the responsible ministries have not organised systemic actions or created the necessary institutional bodies for implementing and monitoring the Strategy. There is also no uniform methodology for monitoring it and, crucially, ministries have not allocated implementation budgets.
Lack of policy coherence and data are major obstacles to realise the Strategy’s objectives. Where action has been taken, it is not based on needs assessments, and impact evaluations are either flawed or not being conducted. Incorrect claims by the government demonstrate that the European Commission must also do more to verify the information they receive from the national level.
The article calls for immediate action to revise the Strategy by addressing health in an integrated manner. Concrete actions, measurable objectives and indicators must be included so that the Strategy is taken seriously and implemented responsibly. Moreover, the health mediator programme needs to be revitalised as a matter of urgency to improve Roma health in deprived communities.
EPHA Roma Fellowship Programme