This article investigates the effectiveness of policy measures aimed to combat poverty In the case ofthe Roma from Romania, and addresses the extent to which social transfers reach the Roma and alleviate their relativety disadvantageous situation. The ftrst part pre.sents the main points of the current European agenda concerning the situation of the Roma, and their influence on Romanian social policy design. The second part employs survey data in order to analyze the itnpact of state .social transfers on the relative deprivation ofthe Roma between 1995 and 2002. The results indicate that neither income inequality nor the extent of poverty is significantly reduced through welfare measures in the case ofthe Roma. The article concludes with the assertion that improving state transfets for children and the family constitutes the most effective way to combat poverty and social exclusion among the Romanian Roma.