about us | newsletter | contact | archive | members area
Dan-Silviu Baciu, Conpet
The evolution of the oil industry in Romania - important changes in the last decade»
  Features:      COUNTRY FOCUS   |   SECTOR ANALYSIS   |

Sarkozy's party picks on EU's weakest with attacks on Roma and Romania

French President Nicholas Sarkozy’s patronage of his Government’s policy of smashing up Roma camps and expelling the community from France to Romania and Bulgaria contained one serious error – it picked on a race

October 2010 - From the Print Edition

If the leader had stated that he was expelling criminals, there would have been no reason for international outrage and the move may have been legally defensible under European laws on public security.
But with documents revealing the Government was destroying illegal Roma camps as a “priority” and Roma civil rights groups doubting the French probed every evicted Roma family to see whether they - or their children - were a ‘public threat’ to France, it becomes clear that this was a racially-motivated act.
If any country is going to pick on a race, the Roma seem to be the most convenient target. The community lacks a national voice to protest. Within the EU, precedents of disbanding Roma camps already exist in Italy. Also - it has to be said - there is a strong criminal element within many Roma communities which needs to be tackled at a social and security level. Large number of migrant Roma are also citizens of the two poorest EU nations, Romania and Bulgaria, who have to maintain a careful political relationship with Europe’s bigger and richer nations.
To expel almost any other nationality would have been unimaginable. The idea of airlifting the entire Estonian expat community from Paris to Tallinn because a few Estonians have been pickpocketing on the streets of Paris would never happen - and one does not want to even think of the implications of targeting races associated with religion. But the rule seems to be - if this offends the Romanians and Bulgarians, so what? And if the Roma are angry - who is going to call up the Elysee Palace and complain? Joaquin Cortes? The Gypsy Kings?
On the upside, this is an issue where the European Commission has an opportunity to reveal its role to the rest of Europe. EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding’s sturdy comments that France’s expulsions were “a disgrace” needed to be voiced by the suits in Brussels.
The French people themselves also see through the hypocrisy evident in elements of their leadership, with Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner - a man with a hands-on knowledge of Roma social issues - at least coming out and expressing shock.
The French initiative is humiliating for Bucharest. Last September President Traian Basescu stated that France is Romania’s key strategic partner in the EU. France is one of the top three investors in Romania and Bucharest needs Paris’s backing for the EU to continue its large subsidies to agriculture.
Basescu was silent on condemning France’s actions and instead he appealed to the French to honour European Union laws. The irony here is that Romania is playing by the EU rules, while Paris is flaunting them.
As if Bucharest was not suffering enough, French ruling party UMP officials have made comments implying that Romania’s hope of entering the Schengen zone of free European in April 2011 is conditioned on the country’s record on Roma integration.
In the European playground, it seems Romania has finally found a role – as a bully victim.

Michael Bird

There are 0 comments:

Validation Code

0 Comments  |  30047 Views
Daily Info
President Iohannis: Interconnection projects revealed at Three Seas Initiative summit are a top level political signal

The list of priority interconnection projects presented within the Summit of the Three Seas Initiative is "a top level political signal", on Tuesday stated Klaus Iohannis, in ...

Vodafone to lay off 1,700 service center employees in Romania, India and Egypt

Vodafone, one of the biggest telecom groups in the world, will lay off 1,700 employees from its service centers in Romania, India and Egypt, in this financial year, the group'...

European Property Federation elects Liviu Tudor as new President

The European Property Federation Managing Committee elected Liviu Tudor, CEO of Genesis Property and President of the Romanian Association of Building Owners, as President of ...

Commisioner Cretu: Romania has a high level of women representation in the digital sector

Romania is one of the countries of the European Union with a high level of representation of women in the digital sector, said European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corin...

Romania gets 450 million Euro loan from EIB for rural development programme

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending 450 million Euro to Romania to finance its national contribution to the implementation of the Romanian Rural Development Programm...






More on Features
US calls for coherent, long-term strategy

As USA celebrates 4th of July, its eyes are wide open on the latest developments in Romania's ongoing struggle for the rule of law. Still, the country is one of the fastest...

French investments at a glance: Interest still high

France, Romania's fourth largest foreign direct investor, has been around since the early 1990s, with flagship names the likes of Societe Generale or Groupe Renault taking ...

Romanian energy industry: Challenges to Overcome

With a national strategy draft still to be approved, Romania faces many challenges, as the energy market is striving to find a way to attract major investments that are cri...

Rising potential for green developments

With GDP growth outperforming neighbouring CEE countries by a significant extent, 2017 was very good for the real estate market in Romania, especially for the office, inves...

EnergyPal: The market must invest in innovation and develop worker qualifications

Romania's facility management sector in 2017 has seen changes in terms of increased market dynamic due to new office developments and also logistic sector growth, according...

Romanian office market ripening, in both leasing and acquisition

From the investment standpoint, lower rates of return and increased liquidity lure the investors, Andreea Paun, Managing Partner, Griffes said in an interview for The Diplo...

ISS: External FM market volume will grow as more Western European FM companies open subsidiaries in Romania

In the last few years as well as in 2017, the Romanian FM market has been in the process of maturing, focusing more and more on quality, efficiency and added value, demandi...