EU to launch proceedings against France in Roma row

29th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

The European Commission on Wednesday decided to launch proceedings against France for breaching EU freedom of movement rules in its controversial Roma crackdown, the EU's top justice official said.

After an open spat with Paris and weeks of bickering, the commission Wednesday met behind closed doors to consider whether to open proceedings against France.

"We have decided to launch an infringement proceeding," EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding told French TV network France-24.

"France did not transpose proper guarantees (to ensure freedom of movement) into its national legislation," she said.

France triggered a wave of criticism after President Nicolas Sarkozy ordered a clampdown against illegal traveller camps in July and deported more than 1,700 Roma.

Reding said earlier this month she was "appalled" by the conditions of the removal of Roma Gypsies and had called for legal action against Sarkozy's government.

Paris faced two separate charges, one of discrimination, a violation of the European charter on fundamental rights, the other of snagging EU rules on free movement.

France is among a number of countries accused of failing to write in EU rules on freedom of movement into national law.

© 2010 AFP

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