EU warns France of possible legal action for discriminationSeptember 14th, 2010 - 8:17 pm ICT by BNO News
BRUSSELS (BNO NEWS) — European Union (EU) Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding on Tuesday said she is “appalled” by the expulsion of Roma migrants from France. She said the EU could begin taking legal action against the country for discrimination.
“I personally have been appalled by a situation which gave the impression that people are being removed from a Member State of the European Union just because they belong to a certain ethnic minority. This is a situation I had thought Europe would not have to witness again after the Second World War,” Reding said.
Along with Commissioner Laszlo Andor and Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, Reding submitted a preliminary legal analysis of the French measures on September 1 to President Barroso and the College of Commissioners.
This preliminary analysis stressed that France would be in violation of EU law if the measures taken by the French authorities in applying the Free Movement Directive had targeted a certain group on the basis of nationality, race or ethnic origin.
In July, French President Nicolas Sarkozy called for the dismantling of illegal Roma migrant camps, who are currently being sent back to their native eastern Europe countries. Around 977 gypsies, as they are commonly known, were deported in the month of August with 128 illegal camps dismantled.
Reding went on to say that the case was “not a minor offense,” and after 11 years in the Commission, “I would even go further: this is a disgrace.”
“Discrimination on the basis of ethnic origin or race has no place in Europe. It is incompatible with the values on which the European Union is founded. National authorities who discriminate ethnic groups in the application of EU law are also violating the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which all Member States, including France, have signed up to,” Reding added.
The Justice Commissioner questioned France’s actions and “common values,” asking the country’s authorities for immediate and swift explanation of the matter.
Legal analysis of the situation will be taking place in which France could face infringement proceedings for a discriminatory application of the Free Movement Directive and for lack of transposition of the procedural and substantive guarantees under the aforementioned directive.
“My patience is wearing thin: enough is enough,” Reding stated.
“No Member State can expect special treatment, especially not when fundamental values and European laws are at stake. This applies today to France. This applies equally to all other Member States, big or small, which would be in a similar situation. You can count on me for that.”
Tags: barroso, bno, charter of fundamental rights, commissioner viviane, common values, eastern europe countries, ethnic minority, ethnic origin, french authorities, french president nicolas, gypsies, laszlo andor, member state, migrant camps, minor offense, month of august, national authorities, nicolas sarkozy, second world war, viviane reding