The European parliament expressed itself very clearly.
The resolution approved yesterday with a majority of 337 “yes” (on 633 voters) sounds like an unmistakable rejection of President Sarkozy’s line of conduct on the “voluntary repatriation” scheme of Community citizens of the Roma ethnic group towards Romania and Bulgaria.
And it sounds like a very strong warning towards European governments who have proved to be in favour of the French president’s line.
Just for being part of the Roma ethnic group, even if in the majority of cases with a EU passport, about a thousand persons have been expelled from the French territory.
Parliament "rejects any statements which link minorities and immigration with criminality” and deplores “the inflammatory and openly discriminatory rhetoric that has characterized the political discussion on the occasion of the Roma repatriation" .
The resolution furthermore is a reminder that the mass expulsions violate the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and quotes the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination that pointed out that “not all individuals” had given “their free and full consent” or understood their rights, with some Roma declaring of having been threatened with arrest or with forced removal shall they refuse repatriation.
The “voluntary repatriation”, so called for the compensation of 300 euros to each individual repatriated, is clearly prejudicial to the principle of free circulation of EU citizens in the Union.
The resolution, other than inviting Paris to stop the expulsion of Roma, has called the European Commission to a more close control on legislative initiatives promotes by the single member states.
The French government has immediately manifested its dissent in regards to what was espresse in the resolution approved by the European Parliament.
However, even though it is not binding for the French government, the resolution is a first important step to stem the attempate penalization of thnic minorities, on the basis of discriminating prejudice.