Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Legal action against France over mass Roma expulsion

The European Commission has decided to take legal action against France over the controversial mass expulsion of Roma migrants. Talking to France 24 this morning, the EU Justice Commissioner - Viviane Reding said France breached European Union rules on freedom of movement by deporting the Roma. EU rules on freedom of movement give ALL European Union citizens the right to freely move and reside (for 3 months) in any member state. France is a member of the EU and the Roma are EU citizens but since July, thousands of Roma have been deported from France.

The mass deportation of the Roma clearly outraged Viviane Reding earlier this month, and the commissioner made no secret of her disappointment over France's action. She had some tough words for France, as highlighted in the video below. WATCH...

The commission notes that France has failed to incorporate the 2004 European directives of free movement into national law.

In today's interview (which I watched) on France 24, Viviane Reding said that "if France changes its laws quickly..." the legal action will be dropped.

Legal action by the European Union against France over the mass Roma expulsion is good news, but I'm disappointed by the Commission's decision not to take legal action against France for a discriminatory expulsion of the Roma, despite the fact that a leaked government memo revealed that the ethnic minority group was targeted. French authorities linked the Roma to a surge in crime and said the dismantling of Roma camps was a "priority."

It is no secret that the Roma have historically faced discrimination in Europe. The European Commission can do better to protect this vulnerable group of people against further discrimination in Europe.

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