Viviane Reding: The Real Problem of Free Movement Are the Roma

World | February 13, 2014, Thursday // 12:28
Bulgaria: Viviane Reding: The Real Problem of Free Movement Are the Roma Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission and European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenships. Photo by EPA/BGNES

The Roma are the real problem for the free movement in the EU, said European Commissioner Viviane Reding.

“Let me name the problem – the problem are the Roma people – the 10-12 million European citizens who live almost everywhere, not only in Bulgaria and Romania, most of them living in horrid poverty conditions,” said Reding at a conference in the European Parliament, organised by Bulgarian MEP Maria Gabriel and Romanian MEP Cristian Dan Preda. “Let's be honest, this is our problem.”

Reding pointed out that all EU citizens have equal rights and there has never been such intense attacks from politicians and media against one of the main European rights – the right of free movement.

The European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, Vice-President of the European Commission also said that each right brings duties. “There is freedom of movement, but not of receiving social benefits”, Reding said. “The abuse, however limited, is very dangerous, as it creates a feeling of a problem blown out of proportion and thus questions the right of free movement.”

According to her, ideally everyone would remain in their own country, but people are driven by poverty to seek subsistence in richer countries.

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Tags: Viviane Reding, Roma, European Commission
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