On Wednesday a key meeting is set to take place between senior figures in the French government and their Romanian counterparts to discuss the situation of Roma in both countries.The talks come a day after two more forced evictions, one in the Pirita settlement in Baia Mare, Romania and another in Villeneuve-le-Roi in the south-eastern suburbs of Paris. These two forced evictions are the latest in a regular pattern documented by Amnesty International. Eyewitness reports confirm that 26 families were forcibly evicted and left homeless in Pirita this morning, as were another 200 people in Villeneuve-le-Roi of whom only a limited number were offered alternative housing. France’s Minister of the Interior Manuel Valls and the Minister for European Affairs, Bernard Cazeneuve, will meet the Romanian President Traian Basescu, Prime Minister Victor Ponta, and relevant ministers.
Ahead of the meeting, Amnesty International Europe and Central Asia director John Dalhuisen said:
“Roma face forced eviction across Europe. They are effectively denied their basic human rights to housing, health and education. “At this meeting Romanian and French authorities must make a firm commitment to ending forced evictions and ensuring better protection in the law in both countries for Roma. Any discussion of governmental co-operation on the situation of Roma must place human rights at its core.“Forced evictions are illegal and they are human rights violations. It is high time for Romania and France as EU member states to stop this practice.“At this meeting the French must avoid the hypocrisy of claiming their policies are simply a reaction to the treatment of Roma in Romania. ”