The European Commission has issued a rare public rebuke of France after the French interior minister said that Romany migrants, mostly from Romania and Bulgaria, should be kicked out of the country.
Commission spokesman Olivier Bailly on September 25 warned that free circulation and the right to reside anywhere in the EU are fundamental rights of all its citizens.
The commission, however, stopped short of threatening Paris with sanctions.
Interior Minister Manuel Valls said in an interview this week that most of the Roma should be "delivered back to the borders," describing their way of life as "extremely different from ours," and claiming they could never integrate into French society.
His remarks triggered an outcry among human rights groups, and were criticized by colleagues.
Valls said on September 25 there was nothing to "correct" in his remarks.
Based on reporting by AFP and dpa