The European Commission is launching the infringement procedure against France over failing to apply at national level the EU regulations on freedom of movement, AFP and Reuters reported on Wednesday. The decision is related to recent expulsions of Rroma people from France. Reuters previously reported, quoting diplomatic sources, that the European Commission would not launch an infringement procedure against France on Wednesday over the expulsions of Rroma people, as initially threatened by European Commissioner Viviane Reding two weeks ago.

The Commission discussed recent evolutions in France and the College of commissioners drew the conclusions in this regard and decided the next stepts, according to an EC spokesperson.

The conclusions are:

  • The EC listened to presentations from Commission members Reding, Malmstrom and Andor
  • The freedom of movement is one of the EU's fundamental principles and the EC must watch that they be applied
  • The EC took note of France assurances that recent measures taken by French authorities were not aimed at a certain ethnic group but were applied to all nationalities. French authorities provide a just and non-discriminatory application of EU law
  • The Commission considers that France did not apply the directive on the freedom of movement in its national legislation
  • The EC decided to send a letter to France warning it to apply the directive and provide a calendar in this regard to the Commission before November 15
  • The Commission would analyze the situation in all other member states andd the need to apply the infringement procedure in other cases
  • The Commission re-affirms that the social and economic situation of the Rroma people is a common challenge for member states.

The European media reported over the past several days about an imminent such move against France after a Wednesday meeting of the Commissioners College.

Diplomatic sources had told Reuters on Wednesday morning that the Commission would ask instead for proof that the expulsion of Rroma people was in line with European legislation.