September 30, 2010
Hey guys, look at those contradictory titles: EU to Take Legal Action Against France Over Gypsy Expulsions, against EU legal action ruled out against France over Roma. Or Brussels blinks in legal row with Sarkozy over Roma expulsion, and then Roma ultimatum given to France by EU: allow free movement or face court.
I could continue these series much longer. The fact is that the press has never been more confused with a Commission decision, at least as far as I can remember (I follow EU affairs since 1993).
Of course, I try to find an explanation, and I think the French propaganda has achieved some results. In particular, Paris insists that the infringement procedure is not open yet (which is not true, sending the letter is to open the procedure). In fact, on the top of the procedure, France may end up with a court case, as I think we rightly reported.
A similar situation happened over the last summit, when French President Sarkozy emerged from the meeting room and told the press he received full support from member countries, while the Commission had in his words apologized. Now we know he lied, but there was quite a confusion for a few hours.
My personal view is that the Commission is showing a brave new face, as the Parliament did, since the Lisbon Treaty entered into force. Some member countries may not like it, some journalists may not have noticed it, but Europe is different today.Georgi Gotev