EU willing to finance joint strategy of Romania, Italy to integrate Roma immigrants

EU willing to finance joint strategy of Romania, Italy to integrate Roma immigrants

Frattini took part yesterday in the reunion of the Interior and Justice ministers of the European Union along with the Romanian Minister of Interior Cristian David.

The EU spent almost 400 million euros from 2000 to present on the integration of Roma citizens, however Italy was not among the first countries to present projects, Frattini said. Romania and Bulgaria received together 60 million euros for in this respect within two years after joining the bloc, he added.

The commissioner proposed David at the meeting on Thursday to consider a joint strategy with Italy in a bid to provide assistance. EC is willing to support the strategy with money from the Social European Fund.

During the meeting in Brussels, David informed Frattini about the Romanians’ condition in Italy. David requested Frattini to analyze and evaluate the way Italian authorities apply the European directive 38/2004.

The 38/2004 European directive stipulates citizens within the EU borders have the right to reside free of conditions on the territory of a member state for three months. However, a state can limit this right on public security owing to public health reasons.

Based on the mentioned directive, Italian authorities started last week deporting Romanians deemed to be a danger to public safety following a wave of crimes blamed on immigrants from Romania.

There are some 560,000 Romanians in Italy, making up roughly 1 percent of the country’s population. Most of them took jobs such maids, nannies, waiters and janitors after the country’s accession to the bloc at the beginning of the year.

Romania, the newest member of the union along with Bulgaria, is seen as a poor country, a root for immigrant workers to richer and older bloc members.