Monday 20 September 2010

“Romagate” is everywhere, including Brussels and Belgium

From a human rights perspective, Stijn Smet on the Strasbourg Observers describes the “utterly unacceptable treatment of Roma by Sarkozy’s government”. The discriminatory practice violates both the freedom of movement within the EU and the prohibition of collective expulsions. The blog post links to the resolution by the European Parliament and the 5 August 2010 missive containing further instructions on the ‘evacuation’ of Roma camps.

However, the blog post does not stop there. It notes the existence of cases which fall under the radar screen of international media, but reveal a poisonous attitude towards Roma. One such case concerns the Brussels area, where there is now no place to station caravans legally. The blog entry describes attempts to prevent Roma from stationing their vans illegally, and it goes on to discuss to which extent states (including Belgium) have a positive obligation to provide spaces for the ‘Gypsy way of life’.

The blog post is an introduction to complex questions facing not only the European Union and the Council of Europe, but national, regional and local authorities all over Europe. This blog post needs to be read in European public administrations.

Ralf Grahn

P.S. The Day of Multilingual Blogging 26 September 2010is drawing closer. It is arranged by the European Commission Representation in the UK and joined by the multilingual blog aggregator as well as individual Eurobloggers.

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