The dilemma of the European Union's Roma policy

Aidan McGarry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Roma are one of the most discriminated and marginalized groups in the European Union (EU). The EU has emerged as a potential ally for the transnational Roma community as it possesses normative power when espousing values such as inclusion, yet is able to elaborate policy at a supranational level which has supremacy over domestic policy. Thus far EU Roma policy has failed to address the complex issues facing Roma owing to inadequate policy interventions. This can be explained by the policy choices open to the EU which appear to be built on diametrically opposed foundations, posing a dilemma for EU policy-makers. This article focuses on the redistribution/recognition dilemma which EU institutions must negotiate in order to address economic and cultural injustices. For their part, transnational Roma activists have demanded the creation of an EU Roma Strategy which could address the needs and interests of Roma across the Union.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-136
Number of pages11
JournalCritical Social Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2012


  • activism
  • politics
  • recognition
  • redistribution
  • transnational


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