France says glad not fingered for discrimination in EU probe

29th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

France said Wednesday it would address European concern over its policy of rounding up and deporting Roma Gypsies, and welcomed what it said was Brussels' decision not to investigate it for discrimination.

The European Commission has earlier issued France a stern warning to bring its national law in line with European rules on freedom of circulation for EU citizens within two weeks or face legal action.

In its response, the French foreign ministry said it would provide Brussels with whatever other information it requests, and welcomed what it said was the Commission's acceptance that Paris' expulsion policy is not racist.

"The Commission accepted France's assurances that the measures taken have neither the aim nor the effect of targeting a specific 'minority' and that French authorities apply EU law in a non-discriminatory fashion," it said.

"France notes no procedure has been has been undertaken in terms of the application of EU free movement rules and in particular in terms of measures taken to move on EU citizens detained during the evacuation of illegal camps."

The statement, issued by foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero, added: "France will, of course, provide all necessary additional information, as it has already done up until now."

© 2010 AFP

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