European Law Monitor

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European Law Monitor NewsMEPs underline that free movement is a fundamental EU principle and call for support for Roma


In adopting a joint resolution on the right of EU citizens and their families to move and reside freely within the territory of the EU, MEPs reaffirm the value of the free movement of persons as a fundamental principle of the European Union. MEPs advocate the establishment of a network of organisations dealing with the social inclusion of Roma as well as the promotion of awareness-raising instruments regarding the rights and duties of the Roma community.

MEPs welcome the Romanian Prime Minister's visit to Italy and the joint statement issued by Mr Romano Prodi and Mr Cặlin Tặriceanu. The House supports the appeal by the two Prime Ministers for the Union to commit itself to the social integration of the most underprivileged populations and to cooperation among the Member States as regards management of their population movements, making use of the development and social aid programmes provided for under the Structural Funds;
  
The House reaffirms the objective of making the Union and its communities an area in which each inhabitant is guaranteed a high level of security, freedom and justice. The European Parliament underlines the value of the free movement of persons as a fundamental principle of the European Union, a constituent part of European citizenship, and a key element of the internal market.
  
MEPs call on the Member States to cease all hesitation and move more rapidly to strengthen the means available for Europe-wide police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters so as to make for effective action to fight the transnational phenomena of organised crime and trafficking in human beings while providing a uniform framework of procedural safeguards.
  

Rejcet principle of collective responsibility

  
Parliament rejects the principle of collective responsibility and emphatically reaffirms the need to combat every form of racism and xenophobia and all forms of discrimination and stigmatisation based on nationality and ethnic origin, as stated in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
  

Support for Roma

  
The House considers that protection of the rights of Roma, and the integration of that minority, pose a challenge to the Union as a whole and calls on the Commission to act without delay by pursuing an overall strategy for social inclusion of Roma and, not least, making use of the Integration Fund and the Structural Funds to support national, regional, and local authorities in their efforts to bring about the social inclusion of Roma.
  
MEPs also advocate the establishment of a network of organisations dealing with the social inclusion of Roma as well as the promotion of awareness-raising instruments regarding the rights and duties of the Roma community, including exchange of best practices. Parliament considers that intensive and structured cooperation with the Council of Europe to be extremely important for this purpose.
  
The request by Joseph Daul (EPP-ED, FR) to withdraw from the resolution a critical paragraph towards Commissioner Frattini was followed by a heated debate among the political groups, who finally adopted by 290 votes in favour 220 against and 21 abstentions, the paragraph stating that Parliament "believes that the recent statements to the Italian press by Mr Franco Frattini, a Commission Vice-President, in connection with the serious incidents in Rome were contrary to the spirit and the letter of Directive 2004/38/EC, a directive with which he is called upon to comply in full."


Further information:

Joint motion for a resolution on application of Directive 2004/38/EC on the right of EU citizens and theirfamilies to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States
Text, as adopted by the EP on 15 November, will shortly be available here