Equality and Education Policy in the European Union—An Example from the Case of Roma

  • Nafsika AlexiadouEmail author
Part of the Education Policy & Social Inequality book series (EPSI, volume 1)


The European Union represents a transnational level of polity where education policies are constructed in parallel to those of nation states, and where equality is framed both in legal frameworks and in policies around citizenship and inclusion. This chapter focuses attention on the interplay between the legal and the policy landscapes around equality and their relation to education policy, and explores these ideas in relation to the Roma minority, and the efforts of the EU to address their experience of multiple inequalities across the continent. The process of developing an education and social policy, and the refinement of equality and anti-discrimination legislation, contribute to a reframing of equality beyond the borders of national policies, and open up new opportunities for their negotiation. The case of Roma EU policies suggests that a combination of legal and policy processes is necessary to address issues of inequalities in education. But there are political risks with the EU taking over such policy work especially when the equality definitions used are narrow in their remit, and when national governments lack the political will to implement EU policies.


European Union Member State Education Policy European Union Member State European Union Level 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The arguments developed in this chapter draw on research partly supported by a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Project (Research and Innovation Staff Exchange, Horizon 2020), with the title Higher Education Internationalisation and Mobility: Inclusion, Equalities and Innovation. Grant agreement No. 643739. I wish to thank the staff at the Roma Education Fund, the Decade of Roma Inclusion Secretariat, and the European Roma Rights Center, for valuable discussions and analyses in relation to Roma education in Europe.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Umeå UniversityUmeåSweden

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