EU suspends legal complaint regarding France Roma expulsion

[JURIST] The European Commission (EC) [official website] announced Tuesday that it is temporarily postponing the human rights complaint [text, PDF] filed against France over the country's failure to respect the EU's Free Movement Directive of 2004 [Directive 2004/38/EC materials] in its expulsion of Roma migrants [JURIST news archive]. In September, the EC asked the French government to enact legislation guaranteeing that procedural safeguards would be put in place in order to protect EU citizens against "arbitrary, discriminatory or disproportionate decisions." The EU Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Viviane Reding [official profile] announced that France had formally responded to the EU request with documentation that included a draft of possible legislation conforming with the directive and a timetable for enacting the legislation. According to Reding, the proposed legislation would require the French government to provide migrants with a written expulsion notice before they are removed from the country. The legislation would also allow migrants the possibility of an appeal. In her statement, Reding urged economic and social integration of the Roma in all EU member states:

It is now for all policymakers, national as well as European, to show that the commitment to this largest European minority is not just a one-off matter. But that we now move on to action and results, on the basis of our European values and the fundamental right of non-discrimination.
Additionally, Reding assured that the EC would continue to monitor and facilitate the implementation of France's proposed legislation.

Reding has been critical [JURIST report] of Roma deportation practices in France. She threatened legal action [text] against France in September claiming that France's discrimination and systematic deportation of the Roma was a violation of EU law. France has been at the center of the controversy concerning the deportation of Roma migrants in Europe. In July, French President Nicolas Sarkozy [official website, in French] ordered measures [press release, in French] against illegal Roma communities in France and announced new legislation to facilitate deportation [JURIST report]. The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) [official website] and the EU Parliamentary Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats have expressed concern over the discrimination faced by Roma migrants in numerous European countries and over the French expulsion policies [JURIST reports].

 

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