Roma Persons and EU Citizenship

Philip Martin, Lisa Scullion, Philip Brown

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In this chapter, we look at to what extent the rights of Roma are being operationalised with respect to employment and the role that plays in terms of migration. On a strategic level, this is important because employment is a core pillar in terms of both the EU’s general programme for inclusion and integration of all its citizens and the planned direction of the Union itself, not least through the ‘levelling’ potential of freedom of movement (see Europe
2020 - A European strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, (European Commission, 2010c) – but also because such inclusion lies at the heart of the Union’s core approach towards Roma, summarised in the document ‘An EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020’ (European Commission, 2011). As Roma inclusion has been expressly framed within the language of citizenship and rights, it is appropriate to ask to
what extent are nations delivering on this agenda. If core European documents on the Roma, such as the Framework place such emphasis on inclusive citizenship, is that being activated by Member States through their national strategies? What are the day to day experiences for Roma as nationals and as migrants in and between of Member States?

The following sections provide a brief overview of both European level policies and strategies on the status and situation of Roma in Europe and academic analysis of this discourse, considering in particular those studies which have discussed what citizenship means for Roma in the EU. It then provides an overview of the evidence of exclusion of Roma across Member States within the framework of employment, and its connection to migration. In doing so, it aims to explore what two core aspects of European citizenship means in reality for a group which has been described as among the most vulnerable in the Union.

Drawing primarily on data from a recent pan European study conducted in ten Member States between 2013 and 2015 (Brown et. al. 2015)ii, it is possible to see that, despite the existence of a common framework for action since 2011, even basic access to the labour market remains a long way off in many, if not all, countries, impelling many Roma to migrate elsewhere in the EU. For Roma freedom of movement as “forced mobility” (Arauda et al 2013: 140) continues to exist, as Roma find themselves obliged to migrate to escape endemic discrimination in the labour market and escape a cycle of dependency on social welfare regimes which often reinforce unemployment and poverty.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEU Citizenship and Social Rights
Subtitle of host publicationEntitlements and Impediments to Accessing Welfare
EditorsFrans Pennings, Martin Seeleib-Kaiser
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9781788112710
ISBN (Print)9781788112703
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameInterdisciplinary Perspectives on EU Citizenship series
Publisher Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.


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