Posts tagged ‘Council of Europe’

The Romani People and the Free Movement Directive

Joep Bertrams, Gypsy Concerto

On July 28, 2010, Nicolas Sarkozy announced the deportation of Romani people of Romanian and Bulgarian citizenship. More than 8, 300 Roma have been deported from France so far in 2010, up from 7, 875 in 2009. Other European states have also instituted similar policies regarding the Roma. Italy has been publicly attacking the Roma since 2007, when President Silvio Berlusconi demanded the fingerprinting and deportation of Roma communities. Since the summer, Denmark has sent back 23 Roma and Sweden expelled 50. Last year, Germany sent more than 100 Roma back to Romania.

These deportations occur in the face of progressive protections of movement and residence for citizens of EU member states. In 1992, the Maastricht Treaty established a concept of citizenship which challenged traditional borders by conferring the right of member states citizens to move and reside freely within the EU. The  Free Movement Directive (2004/38/EC) of 2004 allowed for further integration of European citizens.

How does the deportation of the Roma figure within the Free Movement Directive (FMD)? The statute’s preamble explains that, “the free movement of persons constitutes one of the fundamental freedoms of the internal market, which comprises an area without internal frontiers [...]”. Residence is to be exercised, “under objective conditions of freedom and dignity, [and] also granted to their family members, irrespective of nationality”.

The FMD grants a Right of entry (art.…

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