In Italy, 4 municipalities participated in the ROMACT Programme since 2014: Bari, Milan, Naples, Pavia. Given the context in which the Roma issues were approached at the level of these major municipalities, the ROMACT process was interrupted in Milan and Naples in 2016.
That year, new municipalities were included in the Programme: Agropoli, Garbagnate Milanese, Prato and Trento.
Roma communities in Italy
According to ECRI’s 2016 Report “in the absence of official statistics, the Roma population in Italy (including Roma, Sinti and Camminanti) is estimated to number between 120,000 and 180,000; about half of them are Italian nationals belonging to groups which have lived in Italy for centuries, while the other half is made up of foreign nationals, even if many of them have been permanently resident in Italy for decades”.
ECRI also reports that 80% of the Roma live in settlements, out of which more than 30% are illegal. In that context, access to education and employment as well as health, are prominent issues, even more for those that are legally “invisible” due to the absence of identity documents (15,000 children would be concerned).
These issues were of crucial concern in the municipalities in which ROMACT Programme was implemented.
ROMACT implementation
Given the specifics of the Italian context, in which Roma nationals and non-nationals can be found, ROMACT implementation was different from other countries and the process less linear.
Despite an important turnover among the people attending the Community Action Groups (CAG), community priorities lists were drafted in all municipalities and shared with the local authorities. However, Joint Action Plans were formally adopted only in Bari and Pavia.
Nevertheless, some needs defined by the communities were addressed and led to the implementation of trust building activities between communities living in the settlement and local residents in several municipalities, as well as campaigns to improve school attendance or combat drop out in Bari or Garbagnate Milanese for instance.
The Italian ROMACT Team also supported and coached municipalities and local stakeholders willing to access EU funds to improve Roma communities’ situation in close cooperation with the latest. Besides trainings on strategic project planning and management, specific trainings on (Community-Led Local Development) (CLLD) and participatory development practices were also provided to relevant stakeholders.
ROMACT experts also provided support for specific project proposals, particularly on education and access to employment to be submitted to national authorities for EU funding.  
The particularity of the work with the Roma in Italy (involving various national and non-national / migrant Roma), the political context in several municipalities together with the lack of commitment from the side of key stakeholders lead to the closure of ROMACT process in the country.
Italy, however, is one of the countries eligible for the TCC Component of ROMACT.  Florence municipality benefitted already from intercultural training gathering NGOs representatives and municipality staff. The training aimed at strengthening intercultural competencies of professionals working with non-national Roma communities and sharing approaches and challenges on the matter.
Find out more about ROMACT achievements in Italy



Garbagnate Milanese
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