Eurobarometer: 77% of Europeans think that being a Roma is a disadvantage in society
The survey highlights that a large proportion of Europeans are of the opinion that discrimination is widespread in their country. Discrimination based on ethnic origin is felt to be the most widespread. A broad majority of European citizens believe that being disabled (79%), being over 50 (69%) or having a different ethnic origin (62%) is a disadvantage in their society.
With regard to the Roma, who collectively form the largest ethnic minority in the enlarged EU, 77% of Europeans think that being a Roma is a disadvantage in society. These proportions vary quite significantly among the countries surveyed. Nine out of ten Swedish respondents hold the view that being a Roma is a disadvantage in their society, compared to around 6 out of 10 respondents in the two acceding countries, namely Bulgaria and Romania. Secondly, at the socio-demographic level the data shows that the age at which people completed their full-time education slightly influences how they judge the position of Roma in their society. The longer people stayed in full-time education, the more likely they are to feel that being a Roma tends to be a disadvantage. However, regardless of how long people stayed in school, very few
believe that being a Roma is an advantage in their society (5.3. The position of Roma, pages 42-43).
Finally, the survey highlights that awareness of the existence of anti-discrimination laws remains quite low in the European Union. Disability is the only type of discrimination which more than half of the European public knows is prohibited by law when hiring employees. And only one third of European Union citizens (32%) know their rights should they become a victim of discrimination or harassment.