European Union

The European Commission supports and complements the policies of Member States for social inclusion and social protection.

The “Europe 2020” strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth has set the goal of raising at least 20 million people out of poverty and social exclusion and increasing the employment of 20-64 year olds to 75%. The flagship initiatives of the Europe 2020 strategy, including the platform against poverty and social exclusion and the Agenda for new skills and jobs, support the effort to achieve these goals.

Through the Social Investment Package, the European Commission provides guidance to Member States on the modernisation of the social welfare systems and lifelong investment in society.

Such measures are supplementary to:

- the Employment Package, which paves the way for recovery by creating jobs;
- the Pensions White Paper, which sets out the strategy to ensure adequate, sustainable and safe pensions;
- the Youth Employment Package, which focuses specifically on youth problems.

Policy Framework

The European Semester provides a framework for launching and monitoring economic and social reforms in EU Member States in order to achieve the objectives of the “Europe 2020” strategy. The various issues and proposed solutions are included in the Country-Specific Recommendations.

As social policies are an integral part of the "Europe 2020" strategy, the European Commission supports Member States' efforts to tackle social problems with actions provided for in the platform against poverty and social exclusion, the social investment package, as well as in the context of the European Funds, and in particular the European Social Fund.

Political Cooperation

The European Commission works with Member States within the framework of the Social Protection Committee, using the Open Method of Coordination (OMC) in fields such as social inclusion, healthcare, long-term care and pensions (social OMC).

Social OMS is a voluntary process of political cooperation based on agreed common goals and measuring progress towards achieving these goals based on common indicators. This process requires close cooperation with stakeholders such as social partners and civil society organisations.

Cyprus National Roma Platform

The role of the Social Welfare Services of the Deputy Ministry of Social Welfare was assumed in 2011, through a decision of the Council of Ministers by which the Social Welfare Services were designated as the National Contact Point for the coordination of policies for the integration of the Roma of Cyprus. This period also coincides with the time period when the European Commission adopted the European framework for the measures that should be taken for the social integration of the Roma. In accordance with the framework of the European Union policy, the Republic of Cyprus has undertaken to develop, implement and monitor the policy measures it has adopted for Roma integration in accordance with an integrated and evidence-based approach.

On the basis of its obligation, in 2012 the Republic of Cyprus, through the Social Welfare Services, submitted to the European Commission, the national policy measures for the social integration of the Roma of Cyprus, namely Cypriot citizens who are Roma and who, in accordance with Article 2 of the Constitution are members of the Turkish Cypriot community.

Furthermore, in 2021 the Social Welfare Services submitted to the European Commission the "Roma National Strategic Framework for equality, inclusion and participation 2021-2030", which was prepared in collaboration with all relevant Ministries / Services and approved by the Council of Ministers on 13/12/2021.

The Roma National Strategic Framework sets horizontal objectives for ensuring the equality, inclusion and participation of the Roma in the Cypriot society, and through such objectives it aims to ensure an integrated approach based on the interaction of measures and interventions in various sectors. These objectives concern 5 thematic sections, education, employment, housing, health and social support.

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