Saturday

13th Aug 2022

Italy risks legal battle over expulsion of EU citizens

  • Roma people protesting against fingerprinting, which is part of the new Italian security package. (Photo: European Commission)

The Italian government of Silvio Berlusconi risks a legal battle with the European Commission over the rules on the automatic expulsion of EU citizens, a part of the so-called security package introduced by Rome earlier this year.

EU commissioner Jacques Barrot, in charge of home affairs and justice, stated on Tuesday (23 September) that the controversial piece of law "poses problems of compatibility with community law".

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

If it is not changed shortly, he warned, the commission "would launch infringement proceedings as provided for by the [EU] treaty".

The decision comes weeks after Italy adopted a set of measures designed to deal with the "exceptional and persistent influx" of irregular immigrants and a sharp rise in crime blamed on foreign nationals.

Under the package, undocumented migration is considered a criminal offence punishable by six months to four years in prison, while the property rented to an immigrant without papers can be confiscated.

In addition, the interior ministry announced plans to increase the number of intake places throughout the country - labelled "centres for identification and expulsion".

Interior minister Roberto Maroni - a member of the anti-immigrant Northern League party - is the main figure behind the security package.

According to media reports citing interior ministry data, some 10,600 undocumented migrants entered Italy in the first half of 2008 - a figure twice as high as during the same period in 2007.

The Italian government argues that foreigners, and Roma migrants in particular, are a main cause of increased street crime.

The Berlusconi government has also found itself the target of heavy criticism for plans to conduct a census under which all Roma people, including children, would be fingerprinted. Left critics of the move compared it to the policies of Benito Mussolini, the country's fascist leader during the Second World War.

However, the European Commission stated earlier this month that no EU principles of human rights protection or non-discrimination were being violated.

Greek PM embroiled in spyware scandal

Greece has become embroiled in a wiretapping scandal that led to the resignation of its intelligence chief as well as the Greek prime minister's top aide.

EU Ombudsman: Missing texts with Pfizer CEO are 'wake-up call'

The EU Ombudsman said missing texts between European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and the boss of Pfizer are a "wake-up call" for all institutions about how they should handle work-related instant messages in the digital era.

News in Brief

  1. Germany to help nationals cope with energy price spike
  2. Germany wants pipeline from Portugal
  3. Ukraine urges US to sanction all Russian banks
  4. Spain evacuates 294 Afghans
  5. EU sanctions have 'limited' effect of Russian oil production
  6. Donors pledge €1.5bn to Ukraine's war effort
  7. Sweden overtakes France as EU's top power exporter
  8. Italy's far-right star in European charm offensive

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  3. European Centre for Press and Media FreedomEuropean Anti-SLAPP Conference 2022
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  6. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting

Latest News

  1. Defying Russian bombs, Ukraine football starts 2022 season
  2. Sweden to extradite man wanted by Turkey
  3. EU must beware Beijing's new charm offensive
  4. Forest fire near Bordeaux forces over 10,000 to flee
  5. Estonia and Latvia sever China club ties
  6. Russian coal embargo kicks in, as EU energy bills surge
  7. Only Western unity can stop Iran hostage-diplomacy
  8. Kosovo PM warns of renewed conflict with Serbia

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us