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Note conjointe sur la situation des ROMS en France et en Europe de la vice-présidente Viviane Reding, du commissaire  Laslo Andor, dela Commissaire Cecilia Malmaström.

pdf mise en ligne :20 09 2010 ( NEA say… n° 93 )

IMMIGRATION > Politique d'intégration

Cette note conjointe visait à préparer le débat en plénière du Parlement européen. CF. autre information consacrée au débat et à la résolution votée par le Parlement européen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The situation of Roma
in France and in Europe


Joint Note by
Vice-President Viviane Reding, Commissioner László Andor and Commissioner Cecilia Malmström

1 September 2010

 

 

 

The situation of Roma in France and in Europe
 
Joint Information Note by Vice-President Viviane Reding, Commissioner László Andor
and Commissioner Cecilia Malmström

1 September 2010


During the past few weeks, the situation of the Roma, and in particular the developments in France, have attracted the attention of policy-makers at both national and EU levels. Both upholding public order and ensuring the social and economic integration of Roma is primarily a responsibility of each Member State. However, relevant European Union law, notably the rules on free movement and non-discrimination as well as the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, need to be complied with. In addition, over the past years, the European Union has been making available substantial funding possibilities (especially under the European Social Fund) to support and complement Member States' activities on Roma integration, notably regarding education, housing, health and access to employment, even though use of these funds by Member States remains uneven. It is against this background that, following recent events as well as a working meeting with the French  and Romanian authorities  on 31 August, we – as Commissioners for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion and for Home Affairs – are informing the College of Commissioners today about the situation of Roma in France and in Europe.


A.  The situation of Roma in Europe today

1. Roma  represent the largest ethnic minority in the European Union. There are some 10 to 12 million in the EU, candidate countries and potential candidates in the Western Balkans. 80% of the Roma population is sedentary and is mainly resident in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia.
2. Roma are disproportionately affected by unemployment, poverty, bad housing, poor health standards, violence and discrimination. A Eurobarometer in 2008 showed negative attitudes to Roma are far more prevalent than for any other ethnic group or minority.  A 2009 survey on discrimination by the Fundamental Rights Agency reported that half of Roma respondents had experienced discrimination in the previous twelve months and a fifth had been the victim of racially motivated crime.  Many Roma live in substandard, segregated housing and accommodation. Roma children are more likely to be taught in segregated schools, to have poor attendance records, and to leave school early. Differences in living standards have made the prospect of intra-EU mobility attractive also for Roma. The situation of Roma may even affect the relations between Member States and third countries, as the recent re-introduction of a visa requirement by the Canadian government for Czech citizens has shown.

B.  Recent developments in France
3. On 28 July 2010, the French authorities announced in an official press release  a series of measures dealing with the situation of Travellers and Roma ("gens de voyage et Roms") with a view to:
a. Dismantling 200 illegal settlements in France within three months notably due to the "situation of lawlessness" linked to such settlements: illicit trafficking and exploitation of children for begging, prostitution or crime, and the violation of property rights;
b. Reforming existing French law enabling a more efficient process of dismantlement of illegal settlements in the future;
c. Removing from France EU citizens from Eastern Europe, mostly from Romania and Bulgaria, in irregular situation;
d. Repatriating them and paying, in this context, an "aid to return" and to resettlement  of €300 per adult and €100 per child;
e. Using from October 2010 a data base named OSCAR to collect the fingerprints of the recipients of the "aid to return" to allow the detection of possible frauds (e.g. requests done several times by a same person and using different identities).
4. On 30 August , the French authorities announced that 128 illegal settlements had been dismantled and that 979 (of which 151 were forced returns and 828 voluntary returns) Romanian or Bulgarian citizens in irregular situation in France had been repatriated since 28 July.
5. The French authorities clarified in the working meeting on 31 August with the Commission that such measures had been taken before but they had been recently accelerated. It is worth noting that France is not the only Member State expelling non-national Roma. Expulsions, although on a smaller scale, took place in other Member States, such as Sweden, Denmark, Italy or Germany.

C. Main reactions to developments in France
6. Romanian President Traian Băsescu expressed his support for the right of any Romanian citizen to move freely across the EU, while acknowledging the problematic situation in France. He referred to similar situations in Italy in the past where "an important number of Romanian police officers were deployed" to assist the Italian authorities.
7. Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni, whilst supporting the actions of the French authorities, stated his intention to revisit the issue of automatic expulsions of EU citizens, envisaged by him since a number of years regarding the Italian situation.
8. The Swedish Ministers of EU Affairs and Integration wrote to the Commission on 30 July asking for measures, to be supported by the European Social Fund, to improve access to housing, education and employment for Roma.
9. Different bodies of the Council of Europe (its Parliamentary Assembly and the Commission against Racism and Intolerance – ECRI) expressed concerns about the treatment of Roma in France.
10. The Catholic Church voiced concern about the stigmatisation of Roma.
11. The EU Roma Policy Coalition and various other NGOs condemned the stigmatisation of Roma and the measures taken in France.
12. A UN anti-racism panel also expressed concern on possible collective repatriation.
13. The European Parliament is scheduling a debate on the Roma situation in plenary for 7 September.


D. Preliminary legal analysis
14. It is the primary responsibility of Member States to ensure public order and the safety of their citizens on their national territory. However, when doing so, all Member States need to respect the commonly agreed EU rules.
15. Any measures taken by Member States therefore need to be assessed in the light of EU rules on free movement, non-discrimination and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
16. It is clear that all individuals who break the law need to face the consequences. It is equally clear that nobody should face expulsion just for being Roma.
17. Against this background, the Commission services have been analysing whether the recent measures taken by the French authorities are fully compliant with EU law. The working meeting with the French and Romanian authorities on 31 August helped to clarify a number of outstanding issues.

D.1 Free movement of EU citizens
18. Free movement of all EU citizens constitutes one of the fundamental freedoms of the EU. Article 21(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union confers the right on every citizen of the Union to move and reside freely within the territory of the 27 Member States. Free movement is also one of the rights mentioned in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (Article 45).
19. The right of EU citizens to free movement is not unconditional, but subject to limitations and conditions laid down in the EU's Free Movement Directive 2004/38/EC .
20. It should also be noted that, in line with the transitional arrangements in the Accession Treaties of 25 April 2005 regarding the accession of Bulgaria and Romania, France requires Bulgarian and Romanian citizens to have a work permit before taking up employment.  France applies, nonetheless, a simplified procedure for 149 occupations where a work permit is issued without considering the job situation.
21. For stays for up to three months, the only condition to free movement under EU law is to have a valid passport or identity card. No entry visas, employment or sufficient resources are required. Member States are also not obliged to confer entitlement to social assistance during the first three months of residence to non-workers. It is up to Member States to decide whether they want to do so.
22. If an EU citizen decides to stay for more than three months in a Member State, he/she must be economically active (i.e. he/she must work or be self-employed) or have sufficient resources not to become a burden on the social assistance system and have comprehensive sickness insurance cover. If he/she does not fulfil those requirements, he/she has no right of residence under EU law and may be asked to leave.
23. Before deciding to remove an EU citizen for being a burden on the social assistance system, the host Member State must examine whether it is a case of temporary difficulties and take into account the personal circumstances of the EU citizen as well as the amount of assistance granted. The host Member State must also carry out an assessment of the proportionality of its decision.
24. EU citizens who break the law and thereby threaten public order or public security in the host Member State can be sent back to their Member State of origin. However, EU law requires that there must always be a case-by-case assessment. It furthermore provides that national measures taken on grounds of public order or public security must respect the principle of proportionality and must be based exclusively on the personal conduct of the individual concerned.
25. A decision to remove or expel an EU citizen must respect all procedural safeguards in the EU's Free Movement Directive. Notably, the decision must be in writing, fully justified and open to appeal. In addition, EU citizens should be given at least one month to leave.
26. Against this background, and according to the preliminary assessment of the Commission services, the measures taken by the French authorities regarding EU citizens can only be said to comply with EU law on free movement
- if EU citizens, following a case-by-case assessment based exclusively on the personal conduct and circumstances of the individual concerned, represent a threat to public order or public security, or are an unreasonable burden on the social assistance system;
- if the material and procedural safeguards attached to the free movement rights under EU law have been fully respected by the French authorities.
27. On the latter point, it should be noted that already since its report of 2008 on the implementation of the EU's Free Movement Directive  the Commission has stated that the transposition of the Free Movement Directive was not satisfactory in several Member States. In France, this concerns mainly the safeguards of the Free Movement Directive. When deciding about expulsion, the French legislation does not explicitly refer to the obligation of examining all the individual circumstances (e.g. length of stay, age, health, family situation, link to and level of integration in the host Member State). The Commission services have been in contact with the French authorities earlier in the year regarding the proper implementation of the Free Movement Directive and are currently analysing the French reply received in July 2010. In addition, the Commission is seeking detailed information from the French authorities on whether and to which extent the safeguards required by the Free Movement Directive have been applied in the recent cases.
28. The Commission services are in close contact with the French authorities for a full clarification on the nature of the recent repatriations qualified as "voluntary" by the French authorities. The fact alone that a lump sum is paid to EU citizens in case of return is, in the preliminary analysis of the Commission services, not sufficient for taking these returns out of the scope of the EU's free movement principles.
29. The Commission services are furthermore in close contact with the French authorities to confirm the consequences EU citizens face when returning to France following their return to their Member State of origin. Bans on entry cannot be imposed on EU citizens who are removed simply because they no longer fulfil the residence requirements. Only those EU citizens who are legally expelled for reasons of public order or public security may be subject to an exclusion order, which can be reassessed at the latest three years after the measure was taken.

D.2 EU Fundamental Rights
30. In the European Union, no measure is lawful which falls under the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and violates the rights and principles it guarantees.
31. The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights is applicable to Member States "only when they are implementing Union law" (Article 51(1) of the Charter). A situation where national authorities are implementing the EU's free movement law or are making use of exceptions to free movement foreseen under EU law is therefore one in which national authorities need to comply fully with all the rights and principles foreseen in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
32. In the case of the recent measures taken by the French authorities, the right to non-discrimination enshrined in Article 21 of the Charter, which rules out in particular discrimination based on race, colour, ethnic, social origin or membership of a national minority as well as discrimination on grounds of nationality (on the latter point, see also Article 18 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union), needs to be fully respected. Furthermore, the EU's Race Equality Directive  provides legal protection from discrimination on the grounds of racial or ethnic origin in diverse areas such as employment and training, education, social protection and access to goods and services. In addition, the EU's Framework Decision on Racism and Xenophobia  requires that each Member State takes the measures necessary to ensure that publicly inciting to violence or hatred directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin is punishable.
33. Article 19 of the Charter explicitly prohibits collective expulsions. The European Court of Human Rights defines collective expulsions as “any measure compelling aliens, as a group, to leave a country, except where such a measure is taken on the basis of a reasonable and objective examination of the particular case of each individual alien of the group”. 
34. Article 24 of the Charter on the rights of the child provides that in all actions related to children public authorities must take the child's best interest as a primary consideration.
35. Article 8 of the Charter guarantees the right of each individual to the protection of personal data concerning him or her. This right is further specified in the EU's Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC . To respect the right to data protection, identification measures and the ensuing data processing must be carried out for specified purposes and on the basis of the consent of the person concerned or for another legitimate ground defined by law.
36. Against this background, and according to the preliminary assessment of the Commission services, the measures taken by the French authorities regarding EU citizens when implementing EU law on free movement can only be said to comply with EU law
- if the measures taken by the French authorities targeted equally all EU citizens in comparable situations and did not target or single out individual EU citizens on the basis of race, colour, ethnic, social origin, membership of a national minority or on grounds of nationality;
- if the measures taken by the French authorities cannot be said to amount to collective expulsions of Roma from France;
- if the rights of Roma children have been fully taken into consideration in the implementation of the measures;
- if the personal data entered into the OSCAR data base are only collected and used for the specified purpose of avoiding fraudulent double payments and not for other non-specified purposes.


E.  Action taken by the EU Member States to improve the situation of Roma in Europe
37. As guardian of the Treaties, the task of the European Commission under the current circumstances is first of all to make a legal assessment of the measures that have been taken during the past weeks with regard to the Roma community. However, the roots of the issue go without any doubt much deeper. They also lie in the challenges of social and economic integration of Roma for the Member States, both for the Member States of origin and for the host Member States.
38. A successful integration of Roma requires a substantial stepping up of measures related notably to education, housing, health and access to employment – all issues which are in the primary competence of Member States and have been jealously defended by them from Treaty revision to Treaty revision. They require determined action at national, regional and local level by the competent public authorities.
39. For more than a decade, the EU institutions (the European Commission, the European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers) have been regularly calling for enhanced measures by Member States and applicant countries to improve the social and economic integration of Roma. This forms also part of the political criteria for accession and is regularly monitored by the European Commission in its annual progress reports on enlargement. Moreover, a European Platform on Roma inclusion was launched in 2009.
40. In addition, while fully respecting Member States' primary competence in this field, the EU institutions have made available substantial funding under the EU Funds to support and complement Member States' actions on Roma integration:
- Of the 27 Member States, 12 Member States (Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Spain, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia) have support programmes in place targeting Roma (among other vulnerable groups) for a total budget of €17.5 billion (including €13.3 billion from the European Social Fund). This represents 27% of their total European Social Fund budget.  Examples of projects for the 2000-2006 and 2007-2013 European Social Fund operational programmes include grassroots interventions on the employment of Roma and the development of a new curriculum of Roma studies in schools.
- Several programmed actions or project selection rules ensure that Roma benefit from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development support.
- In May 2010, following a proposal from the Commission, the European Regional Development Fund Regulation has been amended to facilitate submissions for EU funding for projects to help marginalised groups, such as Roma, in the field of housing.
- As the inclusion of Roma is an important political criterion for membership in the European Union, the European Union supports in the pre-acession phase respective actions by national governments of candidate countries and potential candidates with the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA), previously PHARE. The Commission is currently implementing or planning projects with a total value of more than € 50 million which either exclusively or partly could also benefit the Roma communities.
- The Commission is also implementing the pilot project "Pan-European Coordination of Roma Integration Methods – Roma Inclusion". This project comprises three components relating to early childhood education and care, a self-employment and microcredit scheme and information and awareness rising activities.
- The Commission has also convened high-level events in several Member States to raise awareness of the opportunities offered by EU Funds for the integration of Roma and to promote a more efficient use of these funds. The next meeting will take place in Romania in October.
- At the moment, there is a number of Member States which have no specific programme on Roma integration, in spite of a substantial Roma population.
- A detailed overview of funding available to Member States from the European Social Fund regarding Roma integration is attached in Annex 4.
41. To strengthen coordinated action by Member States on Roma integration, the Commission sent a questionnaire to all Member States in autumn 2009 to assess progress made and to identify national priorities on Roma inclusion. 21 of the 27 Member States contributed to this overview (while no responses were received from Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Portugal and United Kingdom). On the basis of these replies as well as discussions with stakeholders and the European Parliament, the Commission adopted on 7 April 2010 a Communication on the social and economic integration of Roma in Europe  – the first ever EU policy document dedicated specifically to Roma. The Communication outlined the complexity and interdependence of the problems faced by Roma in terms of poverty, low educational achievement, labour market barriers, housing segregation, poor health and discrimination. Further to defining the main challenges ahead, the Communication defined a concrete list of actions to help Member States making their policies for Roma integration more effective. The Communication served to steer the debates at the Cordoba Roma Summit as well as the Council conclusions adopted on the matter on 7 June. 
42. The Commission services are currently monitoring the implementation of actions called for by the Communication of 7 April (see the list in Annex 5). They will in particular assess the size and effectiveness of national funding measures made available by the Member States for Roma integration; and whether the funds made available by the European Union (European Social Fund, European Regional Development Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance) are effectively used by countries of origin and host countries alike.

 
F. Next steps – proposals for future actions on Roma in Europe
43. The successful social and economic integration of Roma is an important challenge for all EU Member States. It will largely depend on leadership by public authorities and politicians who will have to counter rhetoric fuelling discrimination. The EU institutions will watch over these developments to ensure that EU law is applied consistently. Furthermore, a renewed collective action is needed to support national and local action on the integration of the Roma community both in their country of origin and in the host country. Where issues related to cross-border crime are involved, the Commission will also seek to assist Member States, in cooperation with Europol and Eurojust where appropriate.
44. We propose the following actions for the future:
a. To watch over the conformity of all Member States' measures taken with regard to Roma with EU law on free movement, non-discrimination and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. This requires a close assessment of the facts. For this purpose, the Commission held first working meetings with the French and Romanian authorities on 31 August. A further meeting at technical level is being scheduled with the French authorities for later this week. The Commission also stands ready to act as a broker between Member States and to monitor and assess progress being made on Roma integration.
b. To establish, in the Commission, a Roma Task Force  at the appropriate senior level. The Task Force will analyse the follow-up given by Member States to the Commission's Communication of 7 April. It will in particular streamline, assess and benchmark the use (including the effectiveness) of EU funds by all Member States for Roma integration and identify underpinning deficiencies in the use of funds. The first findings of the Roma Task Force will be submitted to the College by the end of the year. The Commission will keep the European Parliament and the Council informed about the findings of the Task Force.
c. To call on the Presidency to hold a Jumbo JHA and EPSCO Council as soon as feasible to identify a more targeted use of national and complementary EU funding to promote social and economic integration of Roma. This Council meeting should be followed up by yearly meetings at ministerial level. In addition, the Commission will organise regular meetings of high-level civil servants to review progress on Roma integration in all EU Member States.
d. To call on future presidencies of the Council to address the priorities identified in the Roadmap agreed last June 2010 by the European Platform on Roma inclusion. In this context, the dialogue with the representatives of the Roma community should be intensified and ensured throughout the process.
e. To call on Member States to look into the issue of human trafficking to which Roma are particularly vulnerable, with the assistance of the Commission, Europol and Eurojust where appropriate.

The College is invited to endorse these proposals.

 

Vice-President Reding     Commissioner Andor    Commissioner Malmström
 

Table of Annexes

Annex 1: Roma in Europe (Map from the Council of Europe)

Annex 2: Press release by French Minister Eric Besson explaining the measures taken by the French authorities and their compatibility with EU law

Annex 3: Relevant provisions of EU law

Annex 4: Funding available for EU Member States under the European Social Fund

Annex 5:   Funding available for EU-12 Member States under the European Regional Development Fund

Annex 6: List of actions called for by the Commission in its Communication of 7 April 2010 on the social and economic integration of Roma in Europe

Annex 7: Roma integration projects financed in Romania

Annex 8: Roma integration projects financed in France

Annex 9: Statement by Vice-President Viviane Reding on the Roma situation in Europe (25 August 2010)

 
Annex 1: Roma in Europe (Map from the Council of Europe)

 


 

Annex 2: Press release by French Minister Eric Besson explaining the measures taken by the French authorities and their compatibility with EU law

Paris, le vendredi 27 août 2010
Eric BESSON, Ministre de l’immigration, de l’intégration, de l’identité nationale et du développement solidaire, réaffirme son attachement au respect de la légalité, et tient à démentir fermement tous ceux qui ternissent l’image de la France, en l’accusant de violer ses obligations internationales et européennes, ainsi que ses règles et traditions républicaines.
La France est un Etat de droit. L’administration de l’Etat y agit conformément à la Loi. Elle respecte les droits fondamentaux, émanant tant de la constitution française que du droit de l’Union européenne ou du droit international, au premier rang desquels se trouve le respect de la dignité humaine.
Le droit français ne connaît les étrangers qu’à raison de leur nationalité. Par conséquent, les Rom ne sont pas considérés en tant que tel mais comme des ressortissants du pays dont ils ont la nationalité. Le traitement réservé à ces ressortissants l’est indépendamment de la question de savoir s’ils appartiennent ou revendiquent l’appartenance à la communauté rom.
1. La France respecte les règles européennes relatives à la libre-circulation et au séjour.
En tant que ressortissants de pays membres de l’Union européenne, les ressortissants bulgares et roumains bénéficient de la liberté de circulation et du droit au séjour reconnus à tous les citoyens de l’Union européenne, tels que prévus par le traité sur l’Union européenne et la directive 2004/38/CE du Parlement européen et du Conseil du 29 avril 2004 relative au droit des citoyens de l’Union et des membres de leurs familles de circuler et de séjourner librement sur le territoire des États membres :
En matière de séjour de moins de trois mois, tous les citoyens de l’Union européenne bénéficient du droit de libre circulation et de séjour, sans autres conditions ou formalités que celle de détenir une carte nationale d’identité ou un passeport en cours de validité et sous la seule réserve de l’ordre public. Ce droit n’est cependant maintenu que s’ils ne constituent pas « une charge déraisonnable pour le système d’assistance sociale de l’Etat membre d’accueil » (article 14 § 1 de la directive 2004/38/CE).
En matière de séjour de plus de trois mois, le droit à la libre circulation et au séjour des ressortissants communautaires sur le territoire d’un autre Etat membre n’est pas inconditionnel. Il comporte deux séries de limites :
• le droit au séjour peut cesser si le comportement du citoyen de l’Union européenne constitue « une menace pour l’ordre public »,
• le droit au séjour du citoyen de l’Union européenne ne peut être maintenu si, n’exerçant aucune activité professionnelle, il ne dispose pas « de ressources suffisantes afin de ne pas devenir une charge pour le système d’assistance sociale, ainsi que d’une assurance maladie ».
2. La France respecte les règles en vigueur concernant l’éloignement.
Au regard des limitations au droit à la libre circulation et au libre établissement qui résultent directement du droit de l’Union européenne, les ressortissants roumains et bulgares, peuvent se trouver en situation de séjour irrégulier sur le territoire français et y faire l’objet de mesures d’éloignement prononcées par l’autorité administrative, sous le contrôle du juge administratif :
• Un arrêté préfectoral de reconduite à la frontière (APRF) peut être pris sur le fondement du 8° du II de l’article L. 511 1 du code de l’entrée et du séjour des étrangers et du droit d’asile si la mesure est motivée par une menace pour l’ordre public ou par une infraction à la législation du travail puisque les ressortissants roumains et bulgares demeurent astreints à un régime d’autorisation. Les ressortissants de ces Etats membres exerçant une activité salariée en France sont donc astreints à la possession d’un titre de séjour les autorisant à travailler dont le défaut constitue une irrégularité susceptible de justifier une reconduite.
• Une obligation de quitter le territoire français (OQTF) peut être prise sur le fondement du I de l’article L. 511-1, deuxième alinéa, du code de l’entrée et du séjour des étrangers et du droit d’asile si la mesure est motivée par le constat que le droit au séjour ne peut être maintenu, notamment, s’agissant d’inactifs, s’ils ne disposent pas de ressources suffisantes pour subvenir à leurs besoins et d’une assurance maladie.
3. La France ne met en œuvre aucune « expulsion collective ».
Chaque décision est prise après examen particulier de chaque situation individuelle, sous le contrôle du juge. L’article 4 du Protocole n° 4 à la convention européenne de sauvegarde des droits de l’homme et des libertés fondamentales stipule : « Les expulsions collectives d’étrangers sont interdites ». L’article 19 § 1 de la charte des droits fondamentaux de l’Union européenne comportent les mêmes stipulations.
Une expulsion collective se définit ainsi selon la jurisprudence de la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme : « il faut entendre par expulsion collective, au sens de l’article 4 du Protocole n° 4, toute mesure contraignant des étrangers, en tant que groupe, à quitter un pays, sauf dans les cas où une telle mesure est prise à l’issue et sur la base d’un examen raisonnable et objectif de la situation particulière de chacun des étrangers qui forment le groupe. Cela ne signifie pas pour autant que là où cette dernière condition est remplie, les circonstances entourant la mise en œuvre de décisions d’expulsion ne jouent plus aucun rôle dans l’appréciation du respect de l’article 4 du Protocole n° 4 » (Conka c. Belgique 5 février 2002 n° 51564/99).
Les mesures effectivement prises à l’encontre des ressortissants bulgares et roumains ne pouvant plus se prévaloir de leur droit au séjour ou à la libre circulation ne correspondent aucunement à cette définition. Au contraire, elles ont été adoptées et mises en œuvre conformément à la lettre et à l’esprit du droit de l’Union européenne. Les procédures sont conduites après un examen particulier de la situation de chacun, qu’il s’agisse de l’exécution d’une mesure d’éloignement forcée ou bien d’une mesure d’accompagnement social en vue du retour au pays (aide au retour humanitaire). En particulier, l’appréciation de l’insuffisance des ressources et de la charge pour le système d’assistance sociale ne donne lieu à aucun automatisme. Elle résulte d’un examen individuel de situation dans le respect du principe de proportionnalité, notamment eu égard à l’ancienneté de séjour sur le territoire français. L’exigence d’un examen individuel de situation, qui s’impose à l’administration, est contrôlée par le juge administratif lorsque les décisions d’éloignement lui sont déférées.
Enfin, la circonstance que des vols spécialement affrétés soient organisés pour acheminer les ressortissants bulgares et roumains dans leur pays d’origine ne saurait conduire à regarder ces opérations comme des « expulsions collectives ». Les rapatriements en groupe, pour lesquels la France peut opter pour des raisons d’efficacité et d’économie, n’est évidemment pas réalisable sans une préparation préalable, laquelle témoigne de l’examen au cas par cas des situations particulières de chaque personne accompagnée hors des frontières françaises.
4. La France privilégie les retours volontaires et aidés.
La France privilégie les retours volontaires aidés, qui ne sont généralement précédés d’aucune mesure d’éloignement, afin de répondre à des situations de dénuement et de faciliter la réinsertion dans le pays d’origine.
Le dispositif d’aide au retour humanitaire est indifférent aux conditions dans lesquelles le séjour du ressortissant communautaire prend fin. Seuls sont prises en compte le fait du retour, la situation de dénuement économique et l’acceptation par l’étranger, recueillie par l’Office Français de l’Immigration et de l’Intégration (OFII), de l’aide humanitaire qui lui est proposée. Dès lors, les retours opérés dans le cadre de ce dispositif d’aide humanitaire peuvent n’être précédés d’aucune décision administrative d’éloignement. L’OFII examine les situations individuelles et prend acte des décisions individuelles d’acceptation des aides au retour.
L’aide au retour humanitaire comporte :
• la prise en charge des frais de voyage et d’acheminement en France ;
• une aide individuelle à la préparation du départ comprenant notamment une aide administrative en vue de l’obtention des documents de voyage ;
• une aide financière de 300 € par adulte, et de 100 € par enfant mineur, versée au moment du départ ;
• le cas échéant, un accompagnement personnalisé en vue d’une aide à la décision, assuré par des organismes conventionnés, par les services de l’Etat ou par l’OFII, sous forme d’entretiens individuels menés avec les candidats au programme.
Dans le pays d’origine, elle comporte également :
• une prise en charge du transport jusqu’à la destination finale à l’intérieur du pays d’origine ainsi que l’hébergement et la nourriture dans l’attente du transport jusqu’à la destination finale ;
• le cas échéant, un accompagnement social à l’arrivée dans le pays de retour avec une prestation individualisée en particulier pour les familles.
« La France est parfaitement fidèle à sa tradition républicaine et humaniste. L’humanité, ce n’est pas d’accueillir sans limite, sans condition, en dehors de toute légalité, toute personne souhaitant séjourner en France. L’humanité, c’est au contraire de pouvoir offrir à ceux que nous accueillons des conditions de vie dignes et des perspectives d’intégration. » a conclu Eric BESSON.

 

Annex 3: Relevant provisions of EU law


Free Movement

Article 21 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union
1. Every citizen of the Union shall have the right to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States, subject to the limitations and conditions laid down in the Treaties and by the measures adopted to give them effect. […]

Directive 2004/38/EC of 29 April 2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States (OJ L 158, 30.4.2004, p. 77)


Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union

Article 8 - Protection of personal data
1. Everyone has the right to the protection of personal data concerning him or her.
2. Such data must be processed fairly for specified purposes and on the basis of the consent of the person concerned or some other legitimate basis laid down by law. Everyone has the right of access to data which has been collected concerning him or her, and the right to have it rectified.
3. Compliance with these rules shall be subject to control by an independent authority.

Article 19 - Protection in the event of removal, expulsion or extradition
1. Collective expulsions are prohibited.
2. No one may be removed, expelled or extradited to a State where there is a serious risk that he or she would be subjected to the death penalty, torture or other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 21 - Non-discrimination
1. Any discrimination based on any ground such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation shall be prohibited.

Article 24 - The rights of the child
1. Children shall have the right to such protection and care as is necessary for their well-being. They may express their views freely. Such views shall be taken into consideration on matters which concern them in accordance with their age and maturity.
2. In all actions relating to children, whether taken by public authorities or private institutions, the child's best interests must be a primary consideration.
3. Every child shall have the right to maintain on a regular basis a personal relationship and direct contact with both his and her parents, unless that is contrary to his or her interests.

Article 45 - Freedom of movement and of residence
1. Every citizen of the Union has the right to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States. […]

Article 47 - Right to an effective remedy and to a fair trial
Everyone whose rights and freedoms guaranteed by the law of the Union are violated has the right to an effective remedy before a tribunal in compliance with the conditions laid down in this Article.

Article 51 - Field of application
1. The provisions of this Charter are addressed to the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the Union with due regard for the principle of subsidiarity and to the Member States only when they are implementing Union law. They shall therefore respect the rights, observe the principles and promote the application thereof in accordance with their respective powers and respecting the limits of the powers of the Union as conferred on it in the Treaties. […]


Further relevant EU legislation

Race Equality Directive - Council Directive 2000/43/EC of 29 June 2000 implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin (OJ L 180 of 19.7.2000, p. 22)

Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA of 28 November 2008 on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law ((OJ L 328 of 6.12.2008, p. 55)

Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (OJ L 281 of 23.11.1995, p. 31)

Annex 4: Funding available for EU Member States under the European Social Fund

 ESF interventions 2007-2013  - Roma population   
Member state Estimated number of Roma people (Council of Europe data) % of total population ESF global budget for 2007-2013 in € ESF budget allocated to vulnerable groups including Roma people in € ESF budget allocated specifically targeting Roma people (if available) in € Total budget (85% ESF + 15% national budget) allocated exclusively to Roma people in €
Austria 25.000 0.30%           524.412.560            131.031.725    
Belgium 30.000 0.28%        1.073.217.594            243.170.947     
Bulgaria 750.000 9.74%        1.185.459.863              37.400.000           577.801.917   
Cyprus 1.250 0.12%           119.769.154              13.670.000    
Czech Republic 225.000 2.18%        3.774.521.428            365.159.237            398.606.070  43.000.000
Denmark 5.500 0.10%           254.788.619     
Estonia 1.250 0.09%           391.517.329                3.195.582     
Finland 10.500 0.19%           618.564.064              84.196.565    
France 400.000 0.64%        5.394.547.990          1.860.826.599     
Germany 105.000 0.12%        9.380.654.763         1.878.033.143    
Greece 265.000 2.36%        4.363.800.403            396.916.995            233.203.061  
Hungary 700.000 6.93%        3.629.088.551            319.450.949         2.176.843.478   
Ireland 35.500 0.80%           375.362.370            107.519.965           372.362.370   
Italy 140.000 0.23%        6.938.007.896            601.602.332           491.536.145  
Latvia 14.000 0.60%           550.653.717              42.287.634     
Lithuania 3.500 0.10%        1.028.306.727              59.288.950    
Luxembourg 300 0.06%             25.243.666                2.423.392     
Malta None 0.00%           112.000.000              18.995.200    
Netherlands 38.000 0.23%           830.002.737              66.400.219     
Poland 37.500 0.09%        9.707.176.000          1.089.027.900        1.750.231.099   22.000.000
Portugal 70.000 0.65%        6.512.387.865            381.406.059     
Romania 1.850.000 8.56%        3.684.147.618            433.093.472        2.250.188.694   38.000.000
Slovak Republic 490.000 9.07%        1.499.603.156            161.855.308           252.800.000  26.000.000
Slovenia 8.500 0.42%           755.699.370              41.501.536           164.661.965  
Spain 725.000 1.60%        8.057.328.822            536.082.955           797.775.600  47.000.000
Sweden 42.500 0.46%           691.551.158              23.734.896    
United Kingdom 250.000 0.40%        4.474.917.728          1.082.138.419    
         75.952.731.148          9.980.409.979  9.466.010.399 176.000.000
 
     
    Definition: ESF budget allocated under the social inclusion priority in the Operational Programmes (OP). The scope of the priorities is therefore more limited than in the column ‘ESF allocated budget specifically targeting Roma people’. Definition: ESF budget allocated to priorities in the ESF OPs where Roma are specifically mentioned as one of the target groups.  Definition: Total budget (85% ESF + 15% national budget) allocated to budget lines which are exclusively dedicated to Roma

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Annex 5: Funding available for EU-12 Member States under the European Regional Development Fund
(under Article 7.2 of ERDF Regulation before the amendment in May 2010 which now also allows housing investments for marginalised communities also in the EU-15 Member States)


Member State Total ERDF Housing Investment in€ Roma Specific Allocation Operational Programme Specific Projects for Helping the Socially Disadvantaged
Bulgaria 34.000.000  N/A OP for Regional Development 2007-13 These funds have not been yet allocated to projects, as the strategy for the use of the available funds is still under preparation.
Romania  279.000.000
 N/A Regional operational programme  Romania has no specific allocation for housing intervention; the budget is allocated for rehabilitation of social infrastructure, including social housing and the improvement of social services.
Czech Republic 192.000.000 +
13.500.000 (Roma Pilot Project) N/A Integrated OP Improving the environment in problematic housing zones
Lithuania 59.000.000 N/A OP for Promotion of Cohesion Upgrading of multi-apartment housing constructed prior to 1993 in need of renovation and providing of social housing to low income households
Poland 2.430.000 N/A Polish OP 2007-13 (intervention Code 78) Housing interventions envisaged in the 16 Regional Programmes
Latvia 30.000.000  N/A Latvian OP 2007-13 Improvement of heat insulation of multi-apartment residential buildings and social residence buildings
Estonia 20.000.000 N/A OP for the development of Living Environment Assistance for energy efficiency measures in multi-apartment housing units
Slovakia 76.000.000 N/A Regional OP 2007-13 and OP Bratislava 2007-13 Support for housing interventions in Bratislava Region (6 Mln), Western, Central and Eastern Slovakia (70 Mln)
Hungary 88.400.000 (integrated urban actions) N/A Regional Operational Programme 2007-13 Improving the conditions in declining and disadvantaged urban areas (social urban rehabilitation)
Malta 1.090.000
 N/A Investing in Competitiveness for a Better Quality of Life (OPI) Stronger Cottonera Communities - the citizens' rights to accessibility and mobility

 

Annex 6: List of actions called for by the Commission in its Communication of 7 April 2010 on the social and economic integration of Roma in Europe – COM(2010) 133

MAKING POLICY MEASURES MORE EFFECTIVE

The Commission will:
• continue organising high-level bilateral events in the Member States and to follow up subsequent developments. It will take stock of the results of these visits by the end of 2013.
• urge Member States to take action to ensure that interventions financed by Structural Funds promote equal opportunities and tackle segregation;
• encourage Member States to use the EURoma network to exchange best practices;
• support a network on Roma studies to better link research and policy;
• encourage Member States to develop appropriate tools and methods for evaluation as a prerequisite for designing evidence based policies for Roma inclusion, on the basis of lessons learned inter alia through the evaluation of the Pilot Project on Roma Inclusion;
• reinforce coordination between the ERDF, ESF and the EAFRD , in particular at the regional and local level, when using the funds, for the purpose of promoting and facilitating an integrated approach in housing (in line with the provisions of the modified Art 7 (2) of the ERDF Regulation) or in other fields;
• provide information and technical support to Member States on the efficient use of the Structural Funds and of the Rural Development Fund in tackling socioeconomic exclusion of the Roma;
• take account of the results of the evaluation of the EU Structural Funds interventions for Roma, of the Pilot Project on Roma inclusion, and of the study on successful projects, programmes and policies for Roma inclusion when developing the next generation of European Union Structural Funds and programmes;
• address the inclusion of Roma when developing and implementing the ‘European Platform against Poverty’ Flagship Initiative, proposed by the Commission as part of the EU 2020 Strategy;
• invite Member States to address Roma issues when reporting on the implementation of national policies in all fields which are relevant for Roma inclusion (such as education, employment, social protection and social inclusion, and health) in the framework of the Open Method of Coordination and of the EU2020 Strategy. The Commission will integrate a specific employment-related focus on Roma into the Mutual Learning Programme 2010-2011;
• review its policy and programmes concerning Roma, in the context of enlargement, with a view to further developing and improving the relevant financial assistance under IPA

MAKING PROCESSES MORE EFFECTIVE

The Commission will:
• support successive Council Presidencies in making the Platform more effective. The Commission will provide support to each Presidency in the organisation of a Platform meeting;
• support Presidencies with the organisation of future Roma summits;
• apply the Common Basic Principles for Roma Inclusion when designing, implementing and evaluating policies which are relevant to Roma inclusion;
• explore the most effective ways to ensure in its internal procedures that the mainstreaming of Roma issues in all relevant policies is guaranteed;
• enable the Roma themselves to influence policy processes, including through cofinancing the operations of a European level network active in representing the Roma;

DEVELOPING MODEL APPROACHES

The Commission will:
• assist policy makers by developing a set of model approaches. Building on best practice, each model would address the needs of the major types of Roma community, including their particularly vulnerable subgroups, and suggest the most appropriate targeted public-policy interventions. Each model would identify the key players and legal and financial instruments needed to implement a local, regional or national integration agenda and outline possible initiatives in order to improve Roma access to education, employment, health and housing.
• discuss with Member States how the implementation and the monitoring of these model approaches could be integrated into the existing Open Methods of Coordination and the implementation of the European Platform against Poverty and could be supported by the EU financial instruments.
• develop these model approaches with the help of internal and external expertise and of relevant fora, notably the European Platform for Roma Inclusion.

 
Annex 7: Roma integration projects financed in Romania

This is a non-exhaustive list of examples of Roma integration projects financed under the European Social Fund in Romania.

1. "Together on the labour market" – A transnational pilot project managed by the National Roma agency is being implemented in 8 localities in partnership with the Fundación Secretariado Gitano from Spain as transnational partner over the period 2008-2010. In the following period 2010-2013 the project aims to be expanded nationwide. At a cost of 4.904.749 euro for a period of two years, the project will benefit 6.670 Roma through personalised support for labour market insertion, vocational training adapted to the demand of the Romanian labour market.

2. Centres for mediation and professional counselling for Roma people (education and employment field). This project is managed by "Amare Rromentza" Roma Centre, with a total budget of 676.071 euro over 2 years. It is estimated to benefit 1000 Roma from Bucharest and Braila.

3. Equality by difference – access of the Roma women on the labour market (employment field). This project is managed by the Association of Roma Women “For our children” with a total budget of 1.789.865 euro over 3 years. This project is aimed directly at Roma people and the estimated number of Roma beneficiaries is 2.700.

4. All in the garden, all in the first grade – a project on access to education of the children within under-privileged communities, mainly Roma managed by the Romanian Ministry of Education with a total budget of 5.000.000 Euro. The project is aimed at Roma people and the estimated number of Roma beneficiaries is 10.000.

5. Education of Roma children – a project aimed to increase the level of education of Roma children in the rural and urban areas and reduce school abandonment and it is managed by National Roma Agency, at national level, with a total budget of 4.943.831 euro. The estimated number of Roma beneficiaries is 4.800.

6. School – a chance for everyone – a strategic project at multi-regional level, managed by National Agency for Roma with a total budget of 2.542.249 euro over a three-year period. The project targets mainly Roma people and the estimated number of Roma beneficiaries is 3.500.

7. Quality in education – a step to equality – a strategic project at multi-regional level managed by "Amare Rromentza" Roma Centru with a total budget of 853.213 euro over 2 years. The projects targets mainly Roma population with an estimated number of beneficiaries of 968.

8. “Strategic steps for improving access to education for Roma children” – a strategic project at multi-regional level managed by "Romani CRISS – Roma Centre for Social Intervention and Studies" with a total budget of 4.872.060 euro over 3 years. The programme targets mainly Roma population with an estimated number of beneficiaries of 20.000.

9. Support for Roma communities development from North, West and Centre development Regions – a strategic project at multi-regional level managed by Resources Centre for Roma Communities Foundation, with a total budget of 3.788.139 euro over 3 years with an estimated number of 1.200 Roma beneficiaries.

10. The participation of vulnerable groups in the social economy – a strategic project, at multi-regional level managed by National Agency for Roma, with a total budget of  3.675.676 euro over 3 years. The number of estimated Roma beneficiaries is 9.800.
 
Annex 8: Roma integration projects financed in France

The French managing authority has no detailed information available on European Social Fund budgets targeting specifically Roma people.
 
Roma people are eligible for all kinds of actions for vulnerable groups, but no precise information on their participation is available (ethnic origin of participants is not registered).
 
There is clearly a number of actions specifically targeting Roma people, but the French data base on projects does not allow a general screening on this target group.

Below, there is a non-exhaustive list of examples of actions partly targeting Roma people:

Projects in the region "Ile-de-France":
 
Promoter : Association pour la promotion des tsiganes et voyageurs (ADEPT)
Year : 2009
Place : Seine-Saint-Denis
Project : "Suivi personnalisé et accompagnement à la création d'activités indépendantes, à l'emploi salarié d'un public bénéficiaire de minima sociaux et particulièrement discriminé"
Total cost :    110.291 euro
ESF contribution : 51.598 euro
 
Promoter :     Association pour la promotion des tsiganes et voyageurs (ADEPT)
Year :           2008
Place :         Seine-Saint-Denis
Project :         Populations Tsiganes / Gens du voyage
Total cost :     99.481 euro
ESF contribution : 49.700 euro
 
Promoter :     Service départementale de l'éducation nationale du Val-de-Marne
Year :           2009
Place :         Val-de-Marne
Project :         Pour une scolarisation et une insertion durables : accueillir, positionner et accompagner les jeunes nouvellement arrivés en France et les enfants du voyage
Total cost :     855.389 euro
ESF contribution : 344.610 euro
 
Transnational projects:
 
Promoter     Habitat-Cité
year            2010
Place :       agglomérations Grenoble et Nantes
Project :     Insertion professionnelle d'un public ROM éloigné de l'emploi (projet transnational)
Total cost: 236.279 euro
ESF contribution : 114.637 euro
 
Promoter     Habitat Cité
year             2009
Place :         agglomérations Paris, Grenoble, et Nantes
Project :     Insertion professionnelle d'un public ROM éloigné de l'emploi (projet transnational)
Total cost:  166.000 euro
ESF contribution: 69.000 euro

 
Annex 9: Statement by Vice-President Viviane Reding on the Roma situation in Europe
(25 August 2010)
"During the past few weeks, the situation of the Roma – the largest ethnic minority in the European Union – has attracted the attention of policy-makers at both national and EU levels.
As EU Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, I have been closely following issues involving the Roma since I took office. I believe that the Roma are an important part of the population of the European Union, and that it is of paramount importance that they are well integrated into the societies of our Member States. On 7 April, on a joint initiative of László Andor, the EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, and myself, the European Commission adopted a Communication on the social and economic integration of Roma in Europe. The subject was discussed the day after at the Roma Summit in Cordoba – which both László Andor and I attended – and the Commission's Communication was endorsed by the Ministers in charge of Employment and Social Affairs in June.
Against this background, I have been following with great attention and some concern the developments over the past days in France as well as the debate sparked in several other Member States. On the one hand, I fully acknowledge that it is the sole responsibility of Member States to ensure public order and the safety of their citizens on their national territory. On the other hand, I expect that all Member States respect the commonly agreed EU rules on free movement, non-discrimination and the common values of the European Union, notably the respect for fundamental rights, including the rights of people belonging to minorities.
It is clear that those who break the law need to face the consequences. It is equally clear that nobody should face expulsion just for being Roma. I have therefore asked my services to fully analyse the situation in France, in particular whether all measures taken fully comply with EU law. In this context, I welcome French Prime Minister François Fillon’s announcement that he will send a letter on this matter to the European Commission. The points that will be raised in this letter will of course be fully taken into account in our analysis of the situation. I will inform the College of Commissioners about the outcome of our analysis next week.
As I could see from the reactions to the Commission's Roma Communication of 7 April, there is a broad consensus in Europe that what is needed now are concrete and forward-looking measures to improve the social integration of Roma. We need, in particular, to tackle the root-causes leading Roma to abandon their homes and move across borders. We outlined in our Communication on 7 April numerous measures involving housing, access to the labour market, education and health – all measures that could make an important and useful contribution to improving the situation of the Roma. Of course, these areas fall primarily within the responsibilities of national governments or even of regional or local authorities. Nevertheless, the Commission has committed itself to supporting the activities of national governments