Phiren Amenca

“Roma youth participation in Europe: Challenges, needs and opportunities” – Research findings

Phiren Amenca is pleased to share the findings of the recent research entitled “Roma youth participation in Europe: Challenges, needs and opportunities”. The research seeks to fill in an information gap about the situation of young Roma in the European Union.

The research is published in three different sections: (1) the perspectives of Roma youth, (2) the youth and (pro)Roma NGOs perspectives and (3) the outcomes of focus groups. Each of them includes specific recommendations based on the outcomes of the surveys and interviews to relevant stakeholders.

The first report Roma youth perspectives – presents the findings from an online questionnaire conducted with 290 young Roma (activists and non-activists, volunteers and students, between 15 and 35 years old) from the EU Member States.

The main aim of the questionnaire was to assess the needs, challenges and opportunities for Roma youth civic and political participation (volunteering, politics, civil society work, etc.). Additionally, the questionnaire focused on the real and perceived obstacles that Roma youth encounter in their civic and political participation and what would be needed for that participation to be successful and effective.

This report seeks to make a contribution to addressing the main challenges Roma youth face in exercising their rights and voicing their concerns, and elaborates specific recommendations for each of these categories.

The second reportYouth and (pro)Roma NGOs perspectives – presents the findings from an online questionnaire collected from 33 youth and (pro)Roma civil society organizations working with, for or on Roma youth issues. The survey was open to youth networks, youth NGOs, and Roma youth NGOs operating at an EU, national or local level.

This report aims to contribute to the broader discussion of Roma youth participation in civic and political life at the national and European level from the perspective of Roma and pro-Roma (youth led) NGOs working with and for Roma youth.

The third report presents focus groups results conducted in EU and non-EU Member States, in the following countries: Romania, Bulgaria, Spain, Hungary, Slovakia, Albania, Kosovo, Serbia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Ukraine.

This report – Focus groups with young Roma – starts with a short discussion on the different understandings of participation, as expressed by Roma youth. Based on the focus groups conducted, four main themes of discussion emerged around this topic:

The first theme refers to the meaning and functions attributed to participation as perceived by Roma youth. The second theme distinguishes between different forms of participation. In the third theme respondents expressed how the idea of participation fosters Roma youth empowerment and agency with regards to Roma and youth issues. The last theme operationalizes how participation is manifested in practice, as experienced by Roma youth.

This report is a result of the work of a number of organizations involved in the Roma Youth Voices Project lead by the Phiren Amenca International Network between 2019 and 2020.

This publication was realized as part of the Roma Youth Voices Project, coordinated by Phiren Amenca and funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme of the DG Justice, European Commission.

The research was lead by Simona Torotcoi PhD.

The content of this publication represents the views of the authors only and is Phiren Amenca’s sole responsibility. The European Commission does not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.