Last month, media reports and official statements about the return of Roma from France to Bulgaria and Romania used a variety of terms to describe the process, among them “deportation”, “expulsion” and “repatriation” – sometimes, and technically accurately, “voluntary repatriation”.
Whatever the terminology, there was another common thread in the media stories. Roma leaving as a result of the campaign initiated by French president Nicolas Sarkozy’s government intended to return to France. This, in turn, raised two issues. First, that all the talk of Roma integration programmes hardly seemed matched by reality, and secondly and inevitably, the question as to whether the steady flow of Roma out of Bulgaria and Romania would imperil the two countries’ aspirations to join the European Union’s Schengen visa zone as planned in March 2011…
Read more at The Sofia Echo.
See also: The Roma-go-round, part 2