“It is foremost, a scandalous issue for all Europeans,” said Reding in a press conference in Lausanne about the future of relations between Switzerland and the European Union (EU).
“We have the largest minority in Europe -10 million people-living in absolute poverty, without access to housing and often without any access to healthcare“, she said.
Reding feels it particularly “outrageous” that children from the Roma community cannot go to school.
The European Commission Vice President in September sparked a controversy in France, accusing the French government of discrimination of the Roma. Referring back to this episode, Reding said she hopes that “this excitement has served in making clear that we are in a state of law and citizens, whoever they are, have rights.”
“We have an obligation to address extreme poverty and the lack of schooling of Roma children,” she said.
Reding said that she had asked each State member of the Union to present “its program of integration of the Roma.”
On 28 October, the Commissioner of Justice stated that “France continues to be monitored. We review the reports that have been presented by the French authorities.”
France dismantled hundreds of illegal gypsy camps, and since the beginning of the year, expelled more than 8,000 Romanians and Bulgarians. The French authorities avoided an infringement procedure for insufficient implementation of the 2004 European directive on free movement of EU citizens.