On September 6-7, the sounding board meeting of the DG Justice funded project “Identifying evidence-based methods to effectively combat discrimination of the Roma in the changing political climate of Europe“ (808062—PolRom—REC-AG-2017/REC-RDIS-DISC-AG-2017) took place at the Institute for Research in Social Psychology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Bratislava. The aim of the project is to identify the effects of political discourse on antigypsyism, and prosocial and antisocial action intentions toward Roma people and Irish Travellers, and to evaluate and improve anti-discrimination interventions. During the meeting we discussed the complex relations between political discourse, antigypsyism and collective action towards the Roma.

In the first year of the project, representative surveys in  five countries (Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, France, Ireland) were carried out. We found evidence for the strong connection between antigypsyism, acceptance of hostile or pro-Roma political discourse, and hostile or pro-social (donation and political) collective action tendencies. It was also found that against the predominantly hostile social norms regarding Roma people and Travellers, political discourse that is not openly hostile (even if it is paternalistic) predicts pro-social tendencies among people with lower level of antigypsyism. We further ran a content analysis of political discourses mentioning the Roma people in the five countries in the year 2018. The preliminary analysis showed that media reports political discourses about the Roma that reflect many voices, but not those of Roma people.

The two-year research project is carried out by a consortium of five European universities and research institutions (ELTE Budapest, Hungary; University of Limerick, Ireland; Université Paris-Nanterre, France; Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, Romania; SAS Slovakia)

in close collaboration with civil partners, national and European level stakeholders between 2018 and 2020. The findings of the project will be used to create a toolkit for designing interventions, and disseminate country level and integrated reports to inform local and EU level policy makers, practitioners, NGOs, academic researchers as well as the general public.