In recent days the topic of the Roma people (also known as Gypsies) has grown to be headline news. Whilst this is without question a major issue, it has triggered substantial friction between European leaders..
Two aspects in particular have made the subject front page news. When Viviane Reading, the EU justice minister compared the way in which the French government is treating the Roma people to that of the Jewish people in World War II, it raised eyebrows to say the least.
This remark was made after a document ended up being leaked from the French interior ministry, which demonstrated that despite the government denying it, the Roma people were being targeted as a group on ethnic grounds.
However, when other European countries criticise the actions of France, in general it can be hypocritical. With the European Union spreading east, the migration of Roma people was inevitable. As they migrated to the west, the public stigma attached to the Roma people grew.
This occurs for several simple factors. Being a relativley nomadic people, the Roma have found it difficult to integrate themselves to a country.. For instance when the Roma people were living in Eastern bloc countries the kids were entitled to schooling and were given books and pencils and so on. Today however the desertion rate of Roma school children is incredibly high in western European countries.
The typecast of the Roma people is of no education, no social integration and a life of crime generally, and it is for these reasosns that European countries have been trying to deport the Roma people. The Danish government has been seeking ways to remove them, the Swedish have secretly been removing them, Germany has repatriated them to Kosovo, the Belgians have destroyed their camps and the Italians have declared a state of emergency.
Without realising, the Roma people have come to the centre of European politics and made many contemplate what the EU represents. A solicitor in London would without doubt say that this is a complex case and would expect it to be a lengthy one.
The right to freedom of movement is one of the European Union’s most important features. Solicitors in London would say that it is ironic that Europeans are struggling to deal with the freedom of movement by a European community who have mastered the ability to move freely.
This is without question a very important problem which must be resolved. The migration of people is a very complicated legal issue and one that requires calmness and patience on the behalf of European countries. Making rash judgements without taking into consideration the legal and human impact is utterly unreasonable and if not handled properly can lead to a slippery slope.