Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Hollande and the Roma

This time, the words are more soothing and conciliatory, but the "dismantling" of Roma camps will continue, according to interior minister Valls, whenever a decision of the courts allows. Sarkozy polarized this issue unnecessarily, and created confusion between French travelers and Romanian immigrants, but the problem remains. The Roma are the largest minority population in Europe, numbering between 10 and 12 million. The new government should clarify what it means by alternative solutions and have something to propose besides dismantling and expulsions.


MCG said...

Isn't the burden of finding solutions
on the Romas' home governments, rather than France?

Mitch Guthman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mitch Guthman said...

I think the answer depends on whether the European Union is an institutional framework for the construction of a united Europe similar to the United States of America or simply a expanded “common market”. If the Roma are citizens of a state in a united Europe then they should be free to relocate themselves anywhere within such a union in much the same as citizens of Georgia are free to move to California in search of a better life. The wellbeing of the Roma would be the collective responsibility of all EU states, not simply the one in which an individual Roma happened to be born or to achieve citizenship.

If, however, the EU is basically a glorified “common market” then indeed it seems to me that Hollande is acting correctly. Apart from being something of a Eurosceptic, it has always been my view that unrestricted freedom to relocate is inconsistent with and fatal to the social welfare state. My view is that France is responsible for the welfare of everybody who is French and Romania is responsible for everybody who is Romanian. Under the current legal regime, it’s anybody’s guess.

I think it was very unwise to move from the common market into this amorphous entity that is neither fish nor fowl. Such precipitousness has been the hallmark of the European elite for the past twenty years or so and we are now seeing the consequences of their recklessness.