In 2011 the European Union established a Framework for National Gypsy Roma and Traveller Integration Strategies to help improve the lives of Gypsies, Roma and Travellers within EU member states. The UK did not submit an Integration Strategy, but instead put forward 28 recommendations. Critics argue that a localism agenda has led to the Coalition Government failing to show national leadership.
A large coalition and alliance of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community groups, activists and experts have been gathered together by the National Federation of Gypsy Liaison Groups (NFGLG) and they are collecting evidence and contributing ideas to developing a Shadow Strategy for the EU Framework for National Roma Gypsy and Traveller Integration Strategies. The task of looking at what is happening to Gypsies, Irish Travellers and Roma in the UK and identifying policies than can work is a huge one. The project has community involvement at its heart, the NFGLG is project managing the research and there is a team of community interviewers who will scrutinise with key stakeholders the draft report in the Westminster Parliament. Researchers at the University of Bristol (Sarah Cemlyn and Andrew Ryder) are also working with us. The Romani Cultural & Arts Company are proud to be supporting this initiative.
Siobhan Spencer MBE of the NFGLG says “We intend to produce a strong and powerful report which can be a real lever for change but this takes time and care, it is not something that can be rushed. When the report is finalised in the autumn the groups will then devise a lobbying strategy and again this will be done through a team effort. The last few years have been tough on our communities but the strongest assets we have are our bonds of trust and unity and determination and if we use these effectively I believe we can and will make a difference”
Please download the report here: UK-civil-society-monitoring-report-en-1