European Commissioner for Multilingualism Leonard Orban reminded on Friday that Romanians have the right to travel freely in the European space since 2002, when the visas were lifted, not since 2007, when Romania joined the European Union, NewsIn informs.
"I was one of the authors of Romania's accession to the EU and I know how this thing happened. Visas were eliminated for Romanians ever since 2002, when the free circulation for Romanians came into force", says Orban. "Many Romanians arrived in Italy before Romania's accession to the European Union", said Orban in an interview for ANSA.
Orban considers that "there is a crisis regarding the Roma community in Italy, a crisis that must be faced as soon as possible".
Leonard Orban asked the parties involved to avoid the emotional behavior and find pragmatic solutions, according to the EU democracy principles. Solutions should equally protect Italian citizens and respect the EU regulations, said Orban.
Referring to the re-introduction of frontier checks at European borders, in order to reduce the flow of Romanian immigrants, Orban said that such a measure would come against one of the fundamental principles of the European Union: the right to free circulation.
The commissioner emphasized on the Romanian citizens' concern that the scandal might have a "possible negative evolution" and said that he was surprised to see that "although many events happen on a daily basis, all interesting for the media, this theme has been the main concern for several days for all newspapers, TV show and public debates".
"People are worried with the possible negative evolution of this scandal and some even discuss the possibility for the Italian government to set a precedent for Europe", says Orban.
The Commissioner also underlined that "the European Commission strongly opposes the expelling of groups of persons", all expelling referring exclusively to individuals who have their right to legal defense ensured.