In recent years the situation of the Roma has become increasingly central to political attention in Europe. The European Commission has adopted the document entitled “EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies by 2020” calling on Member States to develop their national strategies to tackle more effectively the challenges of Roma inclusion and social inclusion and make a tangible improvement to the situation by the end of the current decade. The European Commission has adopted four areas for the specialization of national policies and the development of action plans to tackle the social exclusion phenomena experienced by this group in the EU Member States. In particular, these areas are a) Education, b) Employment, c) Healthcare, and d) Housing and essential services.
In this context, the Organization Management Unit (MOU SA) with the cooperation of the Managing Authority and the Region of North Aegean, the social policy structures of the Region and the Municipalities of the North Aegean, as well as with the participation of the Roma themselves, a plan for their social integration in the North Aegean. The Roma business plan seeks to capture the current situation of the Roma population, addressing the specific aspects of issues related to living standards, housing and access to social welfare, education, health and social care, employment, as well as also culture and sport.
The Operational Plan for the Social Integration of the Roma of the Region was consulted and finalized in the final draft approved at the meeting of the North Aegean Regional Council on 2 April 2015.
The Business Plan for the Roma social inclusion, after analyzing the current situation in the Region of North Aegean, proceeds to a specific action plan which records the proposed interventions and analyzes them into horizontal supportive and spatially targeted interventions. The proposed interventions are structured on the following priority axes:
- PRIORITY AXIS 1: “HOUSING AND KEY INFRASTRUCTURES” (Ensuring basic housing conditions, Integration of infrastructure network, Shaping of communal spaces, Other supporting actions)
- PRIORITY AXIS 2: “EDUCATION” (Pre-school education – inclusion, Reduction of school leakage, Improvement of school performance, Illiteracy, Other supportive actions)
- PRIORITY AXIS 3: “EMPLOYMENT – VOCATIONAL TRAINING” (Fighting Unemployment / Increasing Employment, Certification – Developing Skills, Developing a Local Economy)
- PRIORITY AXIS 4: “HEALTH – SOCIAL CARE” (Primary health care, Mental health-dependencies, Social care – welfare, Other supportive actions)
- PRIORITY AXIS 5: “HORIZONTAL ISSUES” (Development of Social Dialogue, Cultural Actions, Social Inclusion, Support Center for Roma and other vulnerable groups etc.)