For more than a thousand years, Roma people (including Travellers, Gypsies, Manouches, Ashkali, Sinti, etc.) have been an integral part of European civilisation. Today, with an estimated population of 10 – 12 million in Europe (approximately six million of whom live in the EU), Roma people are the biggest ethnic minority in Europe. Most Roma are EU citizens, yet many are still victims of prejudice and deep-rooted social exclusion.
The European Platform for Roma inclusion (or European Roma Platform) was created to help coordinate and develop policies for Roma integration and stimulate exchanges among EU Member States, international organisations and Roma civil society.
The Council conclusions of May and June 2011 on Roma integration, following the proposal from the European Commission on an EU Framework for national Roma integration strategies, mark an unprecedented commitment by EU Member States to promote the inclusion of Roma on their territory.
In this framework, all Member States are expected to present to the European Commission, a strategy for Roma inclusion or sets of policy measures within their social inclusions policies for improving the situation of Roma people.