From an essay by Giovanni Maria Flick, President Emeritus of Italy’s Constitutional Court and former Justice Minister of Italy.
The existence of Gypsy minorities in our countries should encourage us to embrace pluralism, lest we lose all interest in the diversity of life (...). The Gypsies spilt their own blood in their fight for the right to be a minority—though they have no specific homeland of their own. This was also the case for another minority, the Jews—a fundamental building block of Europe, with their twin loyalties to their country of origin and to the land they longed for: they, too, paid for that right with their blood.
The existence of the European Union—a unified sphere of freedom, security and justice—forces us to rethink many of our sociological and cultural assumptions. Today, the majority of Roma people who either transit Italy and other EU countries, or permanently reside there, come from all over Europe, which makes them fully-fledged EU citizens; and even the few Roma people who are still stateless have some form of rights. Even if one considers that a large number of Roma come from Balkan countries that have not yet joined the EU (but are sure to sign up in the future), and even if we consider that the Schengen Area covers a smaller territory than the entire EU-27 (though it may be extended in the future), the conclusion is inevitable: one can forcibly evict groups of Roma from the land they illegally occupy on the outskirts of large cities, but one cannot expect them not to go and occupy a similar area the next day. You can illegally dwell in one land or even in all lands, but you can’t be an illegal dweller on earth, much less in Europe. Also, one can point to the fact that the Roma lack a recognized and recognizable homeland, and one cannot link the population to a physical location with the necessary requisites for being a State. But I think no-one could ever conclude that the inexistence of fundamental human rights for the Roma is an inevitable consequence of this lack of a physical State, a status of which the Roma are so proud.
Flick G. M., Gli zingari, cittadini europei (“Gypsies: European Citizens”), in: Impagliazzo M., Il caso zingari (“The Gypsy Case”), Milan, Leonardo International, 2008, pp. 43-52.