Call for applications now open for the EU 2021 Award for Roma Integration in the Western Balkans and Turkey
With an estimated 12 million people living in Europe, the Roma are one of the largest ethnic minorities in Europe. About 1 million Roma live in the Western Balkans and 2.8 million in Turkey. They share a rich culture and history that is inextricably linked to Europe, but they have also faced a long history of exclusion. Many Roma still face severe forms of racism, discrimination, social exclusion and poverty. Improving their equality, inclusion and participation continues to be a top priority for the European Commission and a criterion for progress on the path to enlargement.
The EU is working to improve the social integration of the Roma community in society and to ensure tangible results on the ground. The European Union is also providing significant funding for social integration measures through the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA).
IPA beneficiary countries have adopted Strategies and similar action plans for the integration of the Roma community that are being renewed to adapt to the new EU Strategic Framework for Roma, 2020-2030. Significant work has been done through public authorities, national and local CSOs, as well as individuals/activists.
Respecting these efforts, since 2014, the EU Prize for Roma Integration in the Western Balkans and Turkey has increased the visibility of both the challenges faced by Roma in the Western Balkans and Turkey, as well as the important work of some actors dedicated to supporting the integration of the Roma community. The award provides recognition, publicity and support for positive models that show tangible results in the field of Roma Community Integration.