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Minister says new immigration policies will reflect EU law

France will incorporate EU laws on migration in its new immigration policies, Immigration Minister Eric Besson said on Wednesday, after Brussels raised stringent objections to the expulsion of hundreds of illegal Roma migrants from France.


REUTERS - France is ready to amend forthcoming immigration legislation to meet objections raised by the European Union over its expulsion of Roma migrants, Immigration Minister Eric Besson said on Wednesday.

France wants to put behind it a diplomatic storm raised by its clearing of illegal camps, which the United Nations, the European Union and the Roman Catholic Church have all said unfairly singles out Roma migrants for expulsion.

The European Commission, the EU's executive branch, backed down from threats of legal action over the policy in exchange for guarantees that France would incorporate European law on migration within the bloc's borders into national statutes.

"We already have in our legislation all the guarantees demanded by the (European Union) Commission ... and we are applying them," Besson told Reuters after a cabinet meeting.
"I confirm that ... we are ready to commute some elements (from EU law), for example into the immigration law which will be debated in the Senate at the end of the year or the beginning of the next," he added.
Besson said a ministerial meeting on Thursday would finalise the government's response to the Commission, which would be sent by the end of the week.
On Tuesday, France's parliament passed an immigration law on procedures for clearing illegal camps. The bill allows authorities to strip some immigrants of their French nationality if they are found guilty of attacking police.

The measure has ignited heated debate in France and has been described as dangerous by members of the opposition. Sarkozy floated the idea in a July speech attacked by critics as an effort to woo right-wing voters in advance of 2012 elections.

Sarkozy, elected on a law-and-order platform in 2007, is facing nationwide strikes in protest against his government's pension reform plans and has seen his recent approval ratings close to record lows.


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