Roma in Spain:
The Roma population of Spain is estimated between 725,000 and 750,000, representing up to 1.5% of the overall population. Nearly half of the population lives in Andalusia, with the rest residing primarily in Catalonia, Valencia, and Madrid. A large number of Roma arrived in Spain from Romania after this country’s accession to the EU.
Despite some significant changes in terms of Roma inclusion in Spain after the establishment of democracy, the high rates of poverty, residential and educational segregation, the gap in life expectancy, and the effects of structural antigypsyism, among others, continue to affect the Roma population in a serious way. The successive crises from 2008 to the present day have shown that the progress achieved in times of economic prosperity is very weak and crumbles in times of social and economic difficulty, once again placing the Roma population at very worrying levels in all fields. This fact puts on the table the challenge of facing a change of paradigm in the approach to public policies that affect Roma, as well as the projects financed with public funds which often lack real impact assessments, placing the fight against antigypsyism as the backbone of the same.
The increase in Roma political representation at the national level, although still insufficient and not matched at the regional or local level, has brought about a considerable change since 2019, and has enabled notable legislative and political advances such as the incorporation of antigypsyism in the criminal code or the approval of the Law on Equal Treatment and Non-Discrimination or the Law on Democratic Memory, among others.
The institutional and political structure in Spain, with high levels of decentralisation in the management of public policies, especially those relating to social inclusion (education, employment, health, housing, and social services) which are the responsibility of the Autonomous Communities (Spanish regions), means an objective difficulty for the coordination and effectiveness of the established national strategies, especially affecting the most vulnerable groups, such as the Romany population.
Spanish National Strategy for Roma Equality, Inclusion and Participation 2021-2030. (Ministry of Social Rights and Agenda, ENGLISH – SPANISH)
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 Spain. ENGLISH – ROMANI – SPANISH
RCM 1 (2017-2020) reports:
Roma Civil Monitor (2017) Civil society monitoring report on implementation of the national Roma integration strategies in Spain: Focusing on structural and horizontal preconditions for successful implementation of the strategy. ENGLISH – SPANISH
Roma Civil Monitor (2018) Civil society monitoring report on implementation of the national Roma integration strategy in Spain: Assessing the progress in four key policy areas of the strategy. ENGLISH – SPANISH
Roma Civil Monitor (2020) Civil society monitoring report on implementation of the national Roma integration strategy in Spain: Identifying blind spots in Roma inclusion policy. ENGLISH – SPANISH
Roma Civil Monitor 2017-2020 country fiche: Spain
Decade of Roma Inclusion (2005-2015) report:
Decade of Roma Inclusions (2013) Civil Society Monitoring Report on the Implementation of the National Roma Integration Strategy and Decade Action Plan in 2012 in Spain. ENGLISH – SPANISH