Monday, 11 October 2010

EU citizenship: France’s Roma expulsions documented by CEPS

France’s expulsion of Roma shows that the rights of EU citizens are still in a formative phase, and issues of scope and exceptions concern other mobile Europeans as well.

The Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) has published a welcome research paper on the French Roma affair:

Sergio Carrera and Anaïs Faure Atger: L’Affaire des Roms - A Challenge to the EU’s Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (CEPS Paper in Liberty and Security in Europe, September 2010)

One of the important contributions is that the authors document the pronouncements and actions of the French government in detail. This is enough to make the paper a valuable reference tool for all interested, but it offers more.

Carrera and Faure Atger also present how the other players have acted, including the tardy and initially weak response by the European Commission, the ‘guardian of the Treaties’.

The paper reveals the weaknesses of the current EU law monitoring system, and it argues that the current ‘ex post’ enforcement tools are ineffective in halting breaches of EU fundamental rights. In cases like the Roma expulsions the European Union needs an ‘ex ante’ freezing order, which could be launched by the European Parliament, not only the Commission.

Ralf Grahn

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