Devised to punish: Policing, detaining and deporting Romanians from France

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The criminalization and de-criminalization of foreign nationals is performed by the French state through legal and institutional means in order to increase the deportability of unwanted EU citizens. By policing petty criminals and then instrumenting administrative coercion as a form of punishment, France opts to detain, deport and ban the entry of undesirable EU citizens, mostly Romanian citizens. Moreover, under a bilateral state agreement, France also engages Romanian police agents to help identify ‘their own’ nationals. This article uncovers, problematizes and explains the relationship between state (de-)criminalization practices and the forced removal of EU citizens. In doing so, it aims to respond to the following questions: What is the role of the Franco-Romanian police alliance in the criminalization of migration? What are the legal mechanisms advancing the de-criminalization of migration and how do they influence deportation processes? What is the meaning of punishment for EU deportable/deported citizens?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-602
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Journal of Criminology
Issue number4
Early online date3 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Crimmigration
  • Deportation
  • Punishment
  • Mobility
  • EU citizenship


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