Some Europeans are more equal than others

O'Nions, H. ORCID: 0000-0001-5147-3113, 2014. Some Europeans are more equal than others. People, Place and Policy, 8 (1), pp. 4-18. ISSN 1753-8041


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The position of Roma migrants in the EU presents an anomaly which challenges the foundations of European Union law. As Union citizens, European migrants are entitled to freedom of movement and residence in Member States. Yet the rights intended to secure this position have been routinely and selectively denied to Roma migrants, leading to forced evictions and collective expulsions without regard t o European Law. As has been evidenced in the UK, Roma arrivals are viewed with particularly acute suspicion; a response which reflects their double stigmatization as both immigrant and Roma. At the same time, Roma migration from new Member States has expo sed a contradiction inherent in the citizenship project which strikes at the heart of the Union ’s human rights credentials. The degree of exclusion and inequality faced by Europe’s largest minority in all Member States is the most pressing internal human rights issue facing the EU. Yet the European institutions continue to lack a coherent response and defined strategy. The current European framework demanding National Action Plans is commendable in that it prevents individual states from abdicating responsibility for the situation of their Roma citizens. Nevertheless, the absence of clear targets, Roma engagement and European leadership, suggest that this strategy is doomed to failure offering little more than a distraction. In a Union predicated on, inter alia, the rule of law, respect for human rights and the protection of minorities, this detached position undermines the legitimacy of the entire citizenship project.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: People, Place and Policy
Creators: O'Nions, H.
Publisher: Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research, Sheffield Hallam University
Date: 2014
Volume: 8
Number: 1
ISSN: 1753-8041
Rights: © 2014 Sheffield Hallam University
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Law School
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 09:54
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2021 12:30

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