France’s expulsion of Roma being closely monitored by a concerned European Commission
Hundreds of Roma are being expelled from France and sent back to Romania in a move that is being scrutinized by the European Commission.
The Commission, which functions as the executive body of the European Union, is charged with implementing EU decisions. In recent years, Reuters reports that France has been criticized for skirting European migration regulations when repatriating Roma.
The topic of immigration is contentious in France, which has seen a rise in xenophobia and racism due to problems caused by freer borders and increased immigration. Former presidential candidate, Marine Le Pen, a member of the extreme right-wing National Front party, says that these expulsions are not enough to keep Roma out of France.
EurActiv, an online EU news source, stated that the left has accused the Socialist administration of ignoring promises it made during the electoral campaign to respect Roma rights.
Reuters reports over 15,000 Roma who currently live in France. Most hail from Romania and Bulgaria, which are EU members, but are not part of the Schengen zone, a customs-free travel area.
Roma are paid 300 euro for voluntarily returning to Romania, but nothing stops them from using that money to return to France.