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Parliamentary questions
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12 March 2018
Answer given by Ms Thyssen on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-007834/2017

The prevention of early school leaving in the European Union, including with regard to the Roma population, is addressed through support from the European Social Fund (ESF) within the framework of the relevant investment priority 10(i). By the end of 2016, investments in education and vocational training have reached EUR 14.6 billion, and this corresponds to a project selection rate close to 30%. The above investments cover also initiatives providing access to education for the Roma children who are not to be stigmatised by being placed in separate schools but should be part of the general education process.

The Commission supports Member States in identifying and exchanging good practices to tackle early school leaving(1) from different perspectives. The online European Toolkit for Schools(2) includes examples of providing support for Roma children to attend and succeed in school.

The Commission also cooperates with the Council of Europe through a joint pilot project — co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme — to better equip schools and teachers to handle the specific needs of Roma children and facilitate their inclusion, increasing education enrolment and reducing drop-out rates.

As a result of these efforts, there is progress in the fight against early school-leaving, with declining rates among Roma in all surveyed Member States(3), notably in Spain, Slovakia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Romania. However, despite the improvements Roma continue to be strongly over-represented among early school-leavers, with rates up to 24 times higher than in the population as a whole.

(3)Based on the Fundamental Rights Agency’s 2011 Roma pilot survey and the EU-MIDIS II survey in 2016.

Last updated: 7 June 2018Legal notice