Roma in France:

Because of its political tradition, the French Republic does not recognise ethnic minorities. Based on this point alone, there should not exist any inclusion policy regarding Roma in France. This position is often stated as such by French officials, however they do mention social inclusion policies for particular groups, namely the “gens du voyage”, (i.e. people whose real or supposed traditional dwelling place is mobile) and intra-EU mobile citizens living in slums and squats, who during the last three decades have been considered as “Roma” and who still now are referred to as “migrant Roma”, although this is considered an abuse of language officially.

The exact numbers of Romani people in France are unknown — estimates vary from 400,000 to 1.2 million. The French Romani rights group FNASAT reports that at least 12,000 Romani, who have immigrated from Romania and Bulgaria, live in unofficial urban camps throughout the country. French authorities often attempt to close down these encampments. In 2009, the government sent more than 10,000 Romani back to Romania and Bulgaria.

Key problems:

Most often political will is directed toward evictions. Vested with the competence of public order, mayors and prefects do collaborate actively in this sense, giving it precedence over a voluntary and constructive approach of the resorption of shanty towns and access to fundamental rights for their inhabitants.

The budgets allocated especially for both Roma and gens du voyage are not only too low but have also declined in recent years.

Segregation still remains a problem, both for gens du voyage and Roma. Traditionally, the caravans’ sites are built in remote areas, outside the towns. The same is true also for many locations of integration projects for Roma. A “mental segregation” is also observed among the beneficiaries of such projects in the rare cases when they exist, as social assistance services are provided in a way that does not lead often to the service users’ autonomy.
Police abuse and violence are also observed both towards Roma and gens du voyage.

Textbooks do not mention Roma but very shortly and exclusively as victims of genocide during WWII. The media play a negative role, depicting Roma mainly with exoticism or in situations of poverty and misery. Very few of them offer a balanced image and analysis, and such programs remain exceptional. Although the emerging Rromani civil society tries to counter these narratives, given its means, its impact cannot be commensurable with that of the mainstream opinion makers.

RCM coordinator:

RCM coalition members:

RCM 2 (2021-2025) reports:

Roma Civil Monitor (2022) Civil society monitoring report on the quality of the national strategic framework for Roma equality, inclusion, and participation in France. ENGLISH – FRENCH

RCM 1 (2017-2020) reports:

Roma Civil Monitor (2017) Civil society monitoring report on implementation of the national Roma integration strategies in France Focusing on structural and horizontal preconditions for successful implementation of the strategy. ENGLISH – FRENCH

Roma Civil Monitor (2018) Civil society monitoring report on implementation of the national Roma integration strategy in France: Assessing the progress in four key policy areas of the strategy. ENGLISH – FRENCH

Roma Civil Monitor (2020) Civil society monitoring report on implementation of the national Roma integration strategy in France: Identifying blind spots in Roma inclusion policy. ENGLISH – FRENCH

Roma Civil Monitor 2017-2020 country fiche: France

Decade of Roma Inclusion (2005-2015) report:

Decade of Roma Inclusions (2014) Civil Society Monitoring Report on the Implementation of the National Roma Integration Strategy in 2012 and 2013 in FranceENGLISH