GLOBAL DIALOGUE Volume 12 ● Number 2 ● Summer/Autumn 2010óRace and Racisms

Intolerant Europe: The Drive against the Roma


ROBERT KUSHEN

Robert Kushen is executive director of the European Roma Rights Centre (http://www.errc.org/).


On 16 July 2010, in the town of Saint Aignan, France, a young Traveller man allegedly robbed someone at an automatic teller machine of twenty euros. Subsequently, he and another person were in a car that ran through a police checkpoint, injuring an officer. At another checkpoint, police opened fire on the vehicle, killing the young man. In response, a number of Travellers rioted in the town, attacking a police station and other spots.

Sarkozy’s Opportunism

While the killing and rioting were regrettable, these incidents would have dropped out of the news cycle quickly had the French government not chosen to make of them something much bigger. Several days after the riot, the president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, indicated that a meeting of the cabinet would take place to discuss the problems created by Travellers and Roma. On 28 July 2010, following this cabinet meeting, Sarkozy issued an extraordinary communiqué which announced new plans systematically to evict Travellers and Roma from “illegal settlements” and to expel Romani migrants from France. For Travellers, the president ordered that “illegal settlements be systematically evacuated”. For Romani migrants, the communiqué stated:

 

The President ... found [the] situation of lawlessness that characterized the Roma people [totally unacceptable]. 200 illegal settlements have been ... identified [as] sources of illicit trafficking, deeply unworthy living conditions, exploitation of children for begging, prostitution or crime. He asked the Government to proceed, within three months, the evacuation of these facilities whenever the existing law allows. [Additionally], legislative reform will be undertaken to make [the dismantling of illegal settlements] more efficient.1

 

Sarkozy also asked the government to proceed with the deportation of eastern European nationals illegally residing in France. He ordered that a reform of the immigration bill be completed before the end of the year to facilitate the removal of such persons, citing reasons of public order.

 

While the highly public enunciation of a policy to evict and expel a certain ethnic group was surprising, in fact, the eviction and return of Roma from France to Romania and Bulgaria was not a new phenomenon. France has been returning Roma to these countries under various schemes in significant numbers since at least 2007. Indeed, the government has reported that in 2009 it sent eleven thousand Bulgarian and Romanian nationals back to their countries of origin.2 Elsewhere, it has been reported that those returned were Roma.3

 

There have been periodic efforts to challenge the French expulsions in past years. Occasionally, individuals have had expulsion orders struck down by French tribunals, but for the most part the orders have gone unchallenged. The legal advocacy group GISTI submitted a memorandum to the European Commission claiming that the expulsions violated European Union law, and urged the commission to commence infringement proceedings against France.4 However, not until the high-profile events of this summer did the commission begin to act.

Italy’s ‘Nomads’

Nor is the enunciation of such a race-based policy a novelty in Europe. In 2008, the government of Italy declared Roma to be a security threat and instituted a series of emergency decrees that provided the basis for a number of coercive law-enforcement measures, including the fingerprinting of Roma, “census” activity designed to identify them and their location, and later, aggressive efforts to destroy illegal or informal Roma settlements and evict Roma from their homes. The Italian law targeted “nomads”, perhaps as a legalistic way of avoiding accusations of adopting a policy directed at a particular ethnic group. However, the term “nomad” is widely understood in Italy to refer exclusively to Roma. Certain municipalities also undertook to expel Romani migrants back to their countries of origin, in some cases offering payments to them as an inducement to leave.

 

While the government of Italy has not to date engaged in the large-scale expulsion of Romani migrants, the authorities continue to carry out evictions of Roma, who are mostly migrants. Such measures make the daily lives of the targeted Roma a struggle and, despite the formal absence of expulsions, may force people to leave the country of their own accord. As of early October 2010, Italian authorities proudly announced that over 3,600 people5 have been affected by more than one hundred evictions in Milan this year alone. The Italian evictions are particularly egregious because evicted persons frequently attempt to re-establish a home elsewhere, only to be evicted again. Italy also has a policy of separating families, offering women and children temporary shelter but denying the same to men or preventing families from seeking shelter together. Italian officials have openly supported the French expulsions, claiming that France had copied Italy’s tactics and boasting that they plan to enact even tougher policies in Italy in the near future.6

Widespread Hostility

Other countries have also tried to rid themselves of Roma. On 6–7 July 2010, Danish authorities moved to deport summarily twenty-three Roma to Romania. A few weeks later, they expelled an additional seventeen Roma. At the time of the first expulsion, the lord mayor of Copenhagen, Frank Jensen, called for police to rid the city of “criminal Roma”. Justice minister Lars Barfoed agreed, claiming:

 

It is completely unacceptable that we have people who evidently reside illegally in Denmark in order to commit crime. There will be a whole series of police actions and there will be no softness. If the Roma have no money on them when apprehended, they should be expelled immediately.7

 

A similar case of mass expulsion reportedly occurred in Sweden in the spring of 2010, involving fifty persons. The government of Germany has announced that it will return over ten thousand Roma, Ashkali and “Balkan Egyptians” (distinct ethnic communities, perceived as Gypsies and discriminated against as such) from Kosovo back to their country of origin.8 Discomfort with Romani migrants has been felt as far afield as Canada, where an influx of Romani asylum-seekers from the Czech Republic caused the Canadian government to reinstitute visa requirements for all Czech nationals in 2009. While the government was unhappy with the large number of Romani asylum-seekers, Canadian immigration judges saw things differently, granting asylum to Czech Roma in a large number of cases, accepting their claims that they faced persecution in their country of origin.

The Roma in France

Because of the notoriety of the French expulsions, it is worth focusing on the situation in France in some detail.

 

There are numerous groups generally regarded as “Gypsies” in France. The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) uses the term “Travellers” to refer to individuals and groups who are French citizens. This term includes groups of different ethnic or linguistic backgrounds, including Sinti, Manouche, Kale, Gitan Roma and Yenish. It corresponds generally to the French term “gens du voyage”, introduced into French law in 1972. As French law does not recognise national or ethnic minorities, “gens du voyage” is a term supposedly without ethnic distinction that refers to a group of people who maintained in the past or continue to maintain an itinerant lifestyle. Under French law, “gens du voyage” are theoretically entitled to certain benefits and subject to certain administrative regulations governing their movement.

 

The term “Romani migrants” refers to persons of Romani ethnic origin who have recently arrived in France from the countries of central and eastern Europe and who are not French nationals. Most recently, the focus has been on the Romanians and Bulgarians among the migrants, who are EU citizens.

 

Both Travellers and Romani migrants share the stigma of long-standing racist stereotypes and are frequently subject to hostility and discrimination. An estimated three hundred thousand to five hundred thousand Travellers live in France. There are generally believed to be between ten thousand and twenty thousand Romani migrants living in France; a significant number are from Romania and Bulgaria.

The Current French Crackdown

While French officials have offered a variety of explanations for the expulsions of Roma, the racial/ethnic element of the government’s policy is manifest both in the communiqué described above as well as in a circular issued by the ministry of the interior on 5 August 2010 instructing regional authorities how to implement the president’s policy. The circular required each region of France to commit itself to “systematic action to dismantle the illegal camps, in priority those of the Roma”.9 Subsequently, different French officials interpreted the policy in different ways, sometimes as being directed against Travellers (as the initial unrest in mid-July involved French-national Travellers, and not Romani migrants), sometimes against Romani migrants, sometimes against persons from eastern Europe in the country illegally. Officials also offered a variety of justifications for the policy, including concerns about crime, illegal immigration and public order. Moreover, in implementing the policy, officials have sometimes indicated its coercive nature, and at other times claimed that the return of Romani migrants to Bulgaria and Romania is “voluntary” or “humanitarian” in nature.

 

After the presidential communiqué, the policy of clearing camps inhabited by Roma and Travellers was implemented without delay. Camp clearances, beginning with raids on family homes at dawn, often rendering people homeless, took place throughout August. By the end of the month, French authorities reported that they had evicted 128 settlements and sent 979 Roma back to Romania and Bulgaria.10 In addition, an unknown number of Romani migrants have been served with deportation orders and given one month to leave the country.

 

The French authorities have characterised many of these returns as voluntary; however, the extent to which the recent returns or those that have been ongoing since 2007 have actually been on a voluntary basis has been questioned by international bodies and non-governmental organisations alike. In his 2008 report on France, the Council of Europe’s commissioner for human rights expressed concern that the repatriation of Roma “is not always genuinely ‘voluntary’, as repatriation operations are sometimes co-ordinated with intimidating, or even improper, police operations”.11

 

Evidence from interviews with recent returnees suggests that they were subjected to varying degrees of coercion to return, including the threat that they would be compelled to leave without monetary payment if they did not agree to return “voluntarily”. Returnees were aware of the anti-Roma government rhetoric and had also suffered police harassment in the past. Many returnees stated to ERRC researchers that they took up the offer of repatriation for fear they would be returned in less favourable circumstances.12

 

Regardless of the level of coercion applied, providing cash payments to persons to relinquish or in any way limit their rights as EU citizens or their rights under international law would in itself be a violation of such rights. Fundamental rights cannot be sold or bargained away. Many returnees indicated to ERRC researchers that they were asked by French authorities to sign a document that they could not read or understand. If such a document purported to contain any agreement to accept a limitation of the right to free movement in the future, this would be a violation of the European Union’s Free Movement Directive.13 In late August 2010, the ERRC requested copies of these documents from the French authorities, but has not received a response to date.

Breaching EU Law

The expulsion of Romani EU citizens from French territory raises serious concerns under EU law, including under the Free Movement Directive and the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms. The Free Movement Directive allows the national of any EU member state to enter and reside in another EU member state without any immigration formalities or the use of a passport. The right is limited, however; after three months, a receiving state can restrict the right of further residence to persons who are employed or who can otherwise demonstrate sufficient financial means not to become a burden on the state. While the Free Movement Directive theoretically gives EU citizens the right to seek employment in any member state, this right may be limited as a temporary measure for citizens of Bulgaria and Romania. France, like Germany, the United Kingdom and others, has chosen to limit this right. For this reason, it is very difficult for citizens of Bulgaria and Romania, including Roma, to obtain formal employment in France.

 

The Free Movement Directive also provides very strong protections against arbitrary expulsion. Expulsion can occur only if a person is judged to lack sufficient means to avoid becoming a burden on the state, or if he or she is considered to represent a serious threat to public order or public safety. This judgement must be the result of an individualised determination, taking into account a person’s ties to the community and several other mitigating factors. Expulsion decisions must be appealable.

 

The protections against expulsion in the Free Movement Directive reflect earlier EU law and the European Convention on Human Rights. The European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights have noted that even persons convicted of criminal offences may not be automatically barred from the territory of the European state where the offence was committed. The right to free movement and the right to protection against interference with family life mandate an individualised determination of the convicted person’s present threat to society.14

 

A recent decision by the French Administrative Tribunal of Lille reversed expulsion orders against four Romani EU citizens which had been issued on 24 August 2010 on the basis that “illegal occupation of land” constituted a sufficient threat to public order to warrant an escort to the frontier. The tribunal found that the reason given by the Prefect in the expulsion orders did not meet standards required by the Free Movement Directive, namely, that the threat to public order be a “genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat affecting one of the fundamental interests of society”.15

International and French Law

The French policy has implications for a number of other fundamental human-rights guarantees.16 Evictions from homes, even from homes in illegal settlements, are subject to several procedural protections, including an obligation of the state to provide adequate alternative accommodation if necessary to prevent homelessness. These protections apply regardless of nationality. Moreover, as President Sarkozy noted, the vast majority of persons adversely affected by the French destruction of settlements have been Travellers.

 

General anti-discrimination provisions of international human-rights law apply to the French action, including articles 8 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, article 5 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and article 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Article 13 of this last covenant prohibits collective expulsion on the basis of ethnicity.

 

Under this body of law, it is clear that a law-enforcement policy and practice explicitly based on race constitute illegal discrimination. Such racial profiling violates the equal protection provisions of international law as it uses race to determine who should be the targets of police or immigration action. Even a policy that defines nationality as the basis for police action may be suspect if nationality is in fact being used as a proxy for race. The explicit targeting of Romani migrants as an ethnic group (despite the later denials of French officials) and the measures taken against them also violate the prohibition of collective expulsions under both the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms (article 19) and the European Convention on Human Rights (article 4, protocol 4), in combination with the non-discrimination provisions of both instruments (articles 21 and 14 respectively).

 

French evictions and expulsions also touch on numerous provisions of domestic law. While the focus of the world’s attention has been on expulsions, the problem of illegal settlements is closely connected with France’s obligation under its own law to provide accommodation for Travellers. Because of local resistance and inadequate funding, France has created fewer than half of the abodes which it is obliged to provide by the so-called Besson Law of 2000. In a complaint brought by the ERRC against France before the European Committee of Social Rights, the committee in February 2010 found France in violation of the Revised European Social Charter for failing to provide adequate accommodation for Travellers.17 While the Besson Law does not prohibit the destruction of illegal settlements, it is the absence of adequate legal settlements that contributes to the proliferation of illegal ones.

 

A policy that targets a particular ethnic group for “voluntary” return may also violate equal protection provisions and the prohibition on collective expulsion, if the authorities exercise official coercion that belies the supposedly voluntary nature and humanitarian motivation of such a programme. In France, the voluntary nature of the returns is suspect, given a presidential policy that singles out and accuses Roma of lawless behaviour, the coercive atmosphere created by this policy and the actions of law-enforcement personnel in implementing it (destroying homes of Roma and urging them to take an offer of money with an explicit or implicit threat that if they do not accept they will be forcibly expelled). Moreover, there is no evidence that either these “voluntary returns” or the expulsion orders issued to date are based on any individual determination that a threat to public order exists or that expulsion is the appropriate way to address this threat. EU citizens are therefore being denied the right to move freely, as none of the restrictive exceptions to that right foreseen in the Free Movement Directive is even purported to obtain.

 

The French evictions and expulsions in 2010 are no different from those of 2007–9; the only difference is the enunciation at the highest level of government of a policy to evict and expel Roma. The enunciation of a policy is significant, because it threatens the very underpinnings of EU law and its high profile creates a dangerous precedent that other states are watching carefully.

The EU Response

On 1 September 2010, Viviane Reding, vice-president of the European Commission, presented a report to the College of Commissioners on the French actions against the Roma. The report found that French law does not properly reflect the requirements of the Free Movement Directive:

 

When deciding about expulsion, the French legislation does not explicitly refer to the obligation of examining all the individual circumstances (e.g. length of stay, age, health, family situation, link to and level of integration in the host Member State).18

 

The report reached no conclusion about whether the recent expulsions of Roma to Bulgaria and Romania constituted a violation of EU law.

 

Subsequently, however, in oral remarks, Reding said she believed the French moves violated the Free Movement Directive. And the European Parliament, in a resolution passed on 9 September 2010, expressed

 

its deep concern at the measures taken by the French authorities and by other Member States’ authorities targeting Roma and Travellers and providing for their expulsion; urge[d] those authorities immediately to suspend all expulsions of Roma, at the same time calling on the Commission, the Council and the Member States to intervene with the same request.19

 

After reviewing further evidence, on 29 September the European Commission sent a letter to the French authorities requesting France to indicate how it would remedy deficiencies in the transposition of the Free Movement Directive into French law. The commission also requested information addressing the allegations of discriminatory application of the directive.

 

On 15 October, the French authorities answered the first question, providing documentation of a draft law intended to transpose the Free Movement Directive correctly and a schedule for its adoption into French law. The European Commission promptly issued a statement that the draft law and schedule were adequate to address the absence of procedural safeguards required by the Free Movement Directive, indicating that it would not move forward with infringement proceedings. The commission did not address the allegations of discrimination in applying the directive, nor did it comment on the adequacy of the evidence France submitted on this issue. Officials have indicated to the ERRC that the investigation is ongoing, but the likelihood of further public discussion on this topic diminishes with each passing day.

 

The absence of a clear and public statement from the European Commission on the discrimination issue is unfortunate. The commission has long called for improved incorporation of the Free Movement Directive by member states, but the commission’s strong response to the allegations of discriminatory French application was unusually bold and was widely welcomed in the human-rights community. Allowing its strong concerns about discrimination to fade into the background suggests the commission has exonerated France, despite no evident change in the latter’s approach to dismantling camps and expelling Roma.

In Need of Guidance

President Sarkozy’s response to the European Commission’s statement mistakenly celebrated the exoneration of his government: “I am very happy that truth triumphs … the Commission has decided not to advance with proceedings against France for discrimination for the simple reason that no discrimination took place.”20 Unfortunately, the lack of clarification from the commission allows this interpretation to prevail in the public mind and in the eyes of other governments.

 

Especially now, other European governments need clear guidance from the European Commission about the correct application of the Free Movement Directive. As detailed above, the Italian authorities have in the past undertaken extensive evictions and some expulsions. Recently, they have lauded the French actions and continue with almost daily evictions, creating conditions designed to drive Roma out of Italy. As other states grapple with issues of migration and politicians employ racist rhetoric to scapegoat the Roma and appeal to the growing far right, there is a real concern that the actions of France and Italy may become a model for other states.

 

The response of the sending states to the French expulsions has been mixed. Romania has been superficially supportive of its Romani citizens, arguing that their rights must be respected, as has Bulgaria. Both states no doubt realise that any policy directed against Roma from their countries is likely to spill over and affect their non-Roma citizens (especially given the strong international criticism of the ethnic basis of the French moves). This fear of a spill-over is clearly evidenced by the repeated insistence of both Romania and Bulgaria that the Roma issue should have no impact on their entrance into the Schengen zone, comprising the territories of the twenty-five EU countries that have agreed to waive internal border controls among one another.

 

More often, Romanian and Bulgarian officials have revealed their ambivalence and even racism towards Roma in statements to the media. Prime Minister Boiko Borisov of Bulgaria seems to have accepted the idea that Roma from his country are criminals, vowing to send police to France to bring them back “in handcuffs”. Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov has called the Roma community an “incubator” for crime. President Traian Basescu of Romania has publicly characterised the Roma as “criminals” and “nomads” to explain their presence in France and elsewhere in western Europe, while Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi expressed his concern about the biological predisposition of Roma to “criminality” in a meeting with France’s secretary of state for foreign trade, Pierre Lellouche, in February 2010.

Free Movement (except for the Poor?)

What are the real reasons for the migration of Roma from Romania to France and elsewhere in Europe? Is this an expression of a traditional nomadic lifestyle, as the Romanian president claims? Hardly. Roma in Romania and elsewhere in eastern Europe were forcibly settled generations ago under communism. Roma are leaving Romania for two reasons: discrimination and deep, structural poverty. Amnesty International reports that discrimination and extremely high unemployment leave as many as 75 per cent of Roma in Romania living in poverty, a rate three times higher than non-Roma. France seems to recognise this and even intends to make available funds for returnees in Romania to use on individual economic development projects. Unfortunately, it is unclear if these opportunities are actually available; according to ERRC research, most returnees do not know how to access these resources once they return to Romania.

 

France and other EU member states seem eager to reduce the scope of free movement, or to make free movement available to some but not others. Of course, the European Union could decide to eliminate the right to free movement, allowing member states to re-impose visa regimes on their neighbours, according to nationality (but not race). If the free-movement regime vanished, France could bar all Romanians from France, impose high visa fees, require round-trip ticket proof, or apply numerous other criteria. However, such a move would admit the failure of the whole European project.

 

Before imagining such draconian scenarios, it is important to remember the founding principles of the European Union. Beginning as an economic union, the common market evolved to include not only the free movement of goods without protectionist barriers, but also the free movement of labour. People could seek employment in whichever member state wanted to hire them. This common labour market was seriously tested by EU expansions, which provoked protectionist (and often xenophobic) reactions throughout old Europe. Remember the Polish plumber, feared by every Frenchman back in 2005 when employment regulations were being debated? That image has now been replaced by the Roma beggar, a bogeyman no less viscerally frightening to old Europe, but equally as overblown.

Denial of Work

When Bulgaria and Romania joined the European Union, the other member states could choose to impose temporary restrictions on the right of Bulgarian and Romanian citizens to work in other EU states, essentially treating them the same as persons from Thailand, Egypt or any third-country nationals. France is among those that still maintain these restrictions, severely limiting the ability of Bulgarians and Romanians to work in the republic. When French officials complain that Roma migrants don’t contribute to society, they omit to say that many are prevented from doing so by rules France chooses to impose.

 

In 2009, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights explained that many Roma move within the European Union to find work but face barriers to registering their residence and accessing formal employment, both difficulties negatively affecting their financial situation: “Access to employment appeared to be a defining aspect of these experiences facilitating social integration and access to social services, including, crucially, housing.”21

 

French employment restrictions are not only harmful to Roma (and other people from Bulgaria and Romania) but also counterproductive and contrary to the common market for which the European Union supposedly stands. If France eased these restrictions, it might have fewer Roma beggars to contend with and more young migrant workers to support an aging French population. France should stop spending time and resources expelling Roma—the cost of expelling ten thousand Roma per year has not yet been calculated, but must be considerable—and instead let them work.

A Win–Win Solution

Responsibility for the invidious treatment of the Roma rests not only with France, or the other western European countries that maintain these restrictions as a way of excluding Roma and other poor migrants. The majority of Roma in Romania (and many other countries in the region) live in dire poverty, a result of poor-to-non-existent schooling, discrimination and the lack of employment opportunities. The World Bank has calculated the cost of excluding Roma from the workforce in Romania as 887 million euros per year, based on old and probably inaccurate census data. Considering the much higher current estimates of Romania’s Roma population, the World Bank notes that the real cost is probably two to four times higher. The bank’s solution: invest in education for all Romani children and you will recoup that investment several times over in increased employment, an expanded tax base and decreased welfare costs. Similar findings in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Serbia indicate that enormous financial savings could be made across the region wherever there is a sizeable, marginalised Roma population.22 As an added benefit, the biggest reason that Roma migrate to France, Italy and elsewhere would be eliminated.

 

Providing education and jobs for Roma may sound simple, but will in fact require a demonstration of political will and a commitment of planning and resources well beyond the piecemeal efforts shown by EU member states thus far. But it is achievable, and far better than another round of deportations.


Endnotes


All translations, unless otherwise indicated, are by the European Roma Rights Centre.

 

1. Dwyer Arce, “France President Announces New Measures against Illegal Roma”, Jurist, 29 July 2010 [http://jurist.org/paperchase/2010/07/france-president-announces-new-measures-against-illegal-roma.php].

 

2. It is probable that this number includes some people who were returned to their countries of origin, came back to France and were returned again.

 

3. “What Future for the Roma If They Are Forced out of France?”, France 24, 3 August 2010 [http://observers.france24.com/en/content/20100803-what-will-happen-roma-they-are-sent-back-country-romania-switzerland-geneva-hortefeux-discrimination-france].

 

4. GISTI, “Objet: plainte contre la France pour violations du droit communautaire en matière de libre circulation des personnes” (Subject: Complaint against France for violations of Community law concerning the free circulation of people), 31 July 2008 [http://www.gisti.org/IMG/pdf/saisine_com-eur_2008-07-31_lib-circ.pdf].

 

5. This figure includes repeatedly evicted persons.

 

6. EurActiv, “Italy to Ask EU for Permission to Expel Roma”, 23 August 2010 [http://www.euractiv.com/en/socialeurope/italy-ask-eu-permission-expel-roma-news-497050].

 

7. “Politiet anholder 12 romaer” (Police arrest 12 Roma), Politiken (Copenhagen), 6 July 2010.

 

8. “Council of Europe Calls Deporting Refugees back to Kosovo Irresponsible”, Deutsche Welle, 15 April 2010 [http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,5469539,00.html].

 

9. “La circulaire visant les Roms est ‘très probablement illégale’ ” (The circular concerning the Roma is “most likely illegal”), Le Monde, 12 September 2010.

 

10. Valentina Pop, “EU Questions Legality of French Roma Expulsions”, EUobserver, 2 September 2010 [http://euobserver.com/9/30720/]. The expellees included 61 to Bucharest on 19 August, 132 to Timisoara on 20 August, 13 to Sofia on 25 August and 158 from Paris and 125 from Lyon to Bucharest on 27 August.

 

11. Council of Europe, “Memorandum by Thomas Hammarberg, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Following His Visit to France from 21 to 23 May 2008”, Strasbourg, 20 November 2008.

 

12. ERRC, “Action Update: ERRC Meets Romanian Roma Repatriated from France”, Budapest, 20 August 2010 [http://www.errc.org/cms/upload/file/france-returns-roma-to-timisoara-20-08-2010.pdf].

 

13. Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the right of EU citizens and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the member states.

 

14. According to the European Commission guidelines on the implementation of the Free Movement Directive, “Restrictive measures following a criminal conviction cannot be automatic and must take into account the personal conduct of the offender and the threat that it represents for the requirements of public policy … The existence of multiple convictions is not enough, in itself.” See section 3.2 of European Commission, “Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on Guidance for Better Transposition and Application of Directive 2004/38/EC on the Right of Citizens of the Union and Their Family Members to Move and Reside Freely within the Territory of the Member States”, Brussels, 2 July 2009 [http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:52009DC0313:EN:NOT].

 

15. See the summary of the decision on the tribunal’s website: [http://lille.tribunal-administratif.fr/ta-caa/communiques/arretes-de-reconduite-a-la-frontiere.html].

 

16. Primarily the prohibition of collective expulsions under the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms (article 19) and the European Convention on Human Rights (article 4, protocol 4), together with the respective anti-discrimination provisions that would prohibit immigration or law-enforcement measures being imposed on a particular group on the basis of ethnicity.

 

17. ERRC, “France Discriminates against Roma and Travellers in Violation of the European Social Charter”, Budapest, 2 March 2010 [http://www.errc.org/cikk.php?cikk=3578].

 

18. “The Situation of Roma in France and in Europe: Joint Information Note by Vice-President Viviane Reding, Commissioner László Andor and Commissioner Cecilia Malmström”, 1 September 2010 (copy on file with ERRC).

 

19. European Parliament, “Resolution of 9 September 2010 on the Situation of Roma and on Freedom of Movement in the European Union”, Strasbourg [http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+TA+P7-TA-2010-0312+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN].

 

20. “Roms: Sarkozy ‘très heureux’ que la Commission européenne suspende la procédure d’infraction” (Roma: Sarkozy is “very happy” that the European Commission has suspended the infraction procedure), Le Nouvel Observateur (Paris), 19 October 2010.

 

21. European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, “The Situation of Roma EU citizens Moving to and Settling in Other EU Member States”, Vienna, 9 November 2009 [http://fra.europa.eu/fraWebsite/attachments/Roma_Movement_Comparative-final_en.pdf], p. 32.

 

22. World Bank, “Economic Costs of Roma Exclusion”, April.