French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has denied that France is "stigmatising a minority" by expelling thousands of Roma from the country, saying that the government accepts "criticism" of its policies, but not "caricature".
What's the legal status of travelling Roma in the EU?
The majority of Roma originate from Romania and Bulgaria, which both became European Union member states in 2007, allowing their citizens to travel freely to other EU countries. Neither country however, is part of the Schengen area, which comprises 22 of the 27 EU member states.
That means that if they have been in a country for more than three months and have no job or no proof of substantial means on which to support themselves, they can be deported at any moment. The same goes if they are found guilty of a public order offence.
Date created : 2010-08-28