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France slapped for EU free movement infraction, not discrimination

brussels bureau

France slapped for EU free movement infraction, not discrimination


In the controversial Roma affair, the European Union’s Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding, has announced that Brussels has begun legal proceedings against France over European rules on freedom of movement.

Reding said in Brussels: “The European Commission has decided today to begin an infraction procedure against France. As guardian of the Treaties, the European Commission is determined to make European legislation respected.”

The separate matter of ethnic targeting allegations in France’s expulsion of Roma migrants is not being pursued for the time being.

France’s Immigration Minister Eric Besson said in the National Assembly: “This is far from being an affront against France, on the contrary. Firstly, the most important point in the Commission’s view is that there has not been discrimination. Its action only concerns the dismantling of the illegal camps, where, like the renditions to the borders, there was no discrimination.”

Earlier this month, Reding said France’s deportation of some 8,000 Roma to Romania and Bulgaria this year, part of a French government crackdown on crime, was a disgrace that smacked of ethnic targeting. She also said French officials had been duplicitous in their dealings with EU authorities, saying one thing in Brussels while the government did another at home.

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