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January 28, 2023

Labour Ministry official: The Romanian Government Will Not Allow its Citizens that Work in the UK to be stigmatized

The Romanian Government will not tolerate any abuse against the rights of its citizens working in the United Kingdom. To this effect, we want the British Government to extend the collaboration with Romanian authorities in all the matters of free movement of individuals, says State Secretary Codrin Scutaru in the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Protection and Elderly.

“Wherever they might be living throughout Europe, the Romanian citizens must know that their Government will never tolerate any abuse on their rights or the current European legislation. Therefore, we would like to express our utter opposition to an attitude that treats any Romanian as a virtual offender, such as was the case during the first episode of Channel 4’s documentary ‘The Romanians are Coming’. Many Romanians present on British soil work; they earn their wages and pay their taxes. Therefore, they must be respected accordingly,” Scutaru stated on Monday in a release re mitted to Agerpres.

In the same document, the state secretary points out that the Romanian Executive has its own zero-tolerance policy towards Romanians who breach the British laws or try to get undeserved social benefits.

‘We hope the British Government, with which we have excellent relations, will enhance and expand the collaboration with Romanian authorities, especially in this field, and also in all matters of freedom of movement, as mentioned and stipulated in the European and national laws. On the other hand, Romanian citizens of the Roma community who come to work honestly in any EU member state are European citizens. Thus, they have the same rights as any other European citizen. There are no first-rank and second-rank European citizens,’ the official stressed.

Scutaru also mentioned Lord Beveridge’s report of 1942 on social insurance and assimilated services.

‘In his famous 1942 report on social insurance and assimilated services, who outlined the Welfare State, Lord Beveridge wrote that the five giant evils hindering the modern society were squalor, ignorance, want, idleness, and disease. Lord Beveridge’s ideas were revolutionary in a time when Europe was divided by war and fear. They are still revolutionary today, when the European Union has become an institutional, political and social model of unity, mutual trust and social justice, which has fully proven its capacity of overcoming crucial moments and of providing a viable framework for peace, justice and individual achievement. Let us not forget today, for the sake of conjunctural reasons, his generous message of hope and belief in a society of decent, receptive and hard-working people, earning their wages, paying their taxes and building their future together on a continent relieved from squalor, ignorance, want, idleness, and disease,’ Scutaru  added.

“Let us not forget today, for the sake of circumstantial reasons, his generous message of hope and faith in a society of decent, open-minded and hard-working people, earning their wages, paying their taxes and building their future together, on a continent freed from Squalor, Ignorance, Want, Idleness and Disease,” Scutaru concluded.


Romanian Foreign Ministry: UK’s Romanians reaction to Channel 4 documentary, a proof of community solidarity


The first episode of a documentary broadcast by the British Channel 4 on February 17 was not representative for the Romanian community of the United Kingdom, the Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) declared in a release to Agerpres on Sunday.

‘Following the release of the documentary’s trailer and upon instructions of the MAE heads, the Romanian ambassador in London immediately wrote to the producer of this broadcast at this private TV Channel, Katie Buchanan, expressing the surprise and disappointment caused by the content of the promotion message, which did not reflect the correct image of the Romanian community in the United Kingdom,’ the quoted document reads.

MAE’s media release was a response to the interpellation of Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu by the independent MP Bogdan Diaconu on Sunday.

According to the ministry, Ambassador Ion Jinga’s letter underlines that the vast majority of Romanian citizens is well integrated in the British society, and noted at their workplaces for their professionalism, thus being appreciated by British employers. The embassy asked for the situation to be remedied and hoped the content of the documentary will be objective, and not a distorted image of the whole Romanian community in the UK.

‘In her answer to the Romanian ambassador, the producer of the series pointed out the documentaries do not intend to be discriminatory in any way; on the contrary, they aim at reflecting the very diverse experiences of Romanian citizens with different backgrounds who come to earn money in the United Kingdom,’ MAE’ release asserts.

As regards the first episode of the series, MAE underscored it was not representative for the Romanian community in the UK, as it only illustrated a scarce social segment. Both the narrator and the characters in the documentary were Romanians who wanted to tell their stories. According to information sent by the producers, the following episodes of the documentary will also present other cases of Romanians who were better integrated in the British society, the aforementioned document claims.

Also, following the step taken by the Romanian embassy in London, the producers of the show changed the text of the documentary’s trailer, introducing an extended presentation of its context and underlining its human side.

MAE also pointed out that the Romanian ambassador in London thanked in a message the Romanian community in the United Kingdom for its exemplary mobilization; he voiced his legitimate concern about the image of their community, as many of them wrote to the producer of the documentary. Among the associations that reacted, MAE mentioned RoNUS – the Federation of Romanian Students in the United Kingdom, affiliated to the National Union of Students, and other Romanian students’ associations in Essex, Coventry, Aberdeen, Cambridge, Oxford, etc.

‘The Ministry of Foreign Affairs sees such reactions of Romanian citizens getting involved as a very strong proof of the solidarity feeling that should permanently unite the Romanian community, especially in times when they are targeted by possibly smearing campaigns in the European states where they chose to work or to settle,’ the release adds.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also expressed its appreciation for the supporting reactions of outstanding members of the British society, such as the vice chancellor of the University of Essex, Professor Anthony Forster. After the release of the documentary ‘The Romanians Are Coming,’ Forster wrote on his blog: ‘Romanian students are amongst the most hardworking students at the University, actively contributing to enrich our lives in many different ways.’

‘The problems of the image of Romanian citizens in the United Kingdom are continuously monitored within the bilateral contacts with the British part, including at high level. On the occasion of the visit of the British Foreign Secretary last month, the Romanian Foreign Minister has underlined the importance of joint action for the correct and balance presentation, without excesses, of the image of Romanian citizens and of their substantial contribution to society of the United Kingdom; he mentioned the high degree of social integration – over 80 percent – of Romanian citizens (above the proportion of occupation among British citizens).

While respecting the journalists’ freedom of expression, the Foreign Affairs Ministry, through the Romanian Embassy in London, will closely monitor the next episodes aired by Channel 4; it expects them to present the real image of the Romanian community of the United Kingdom as a whole in a balanced and representative manner, as also pointed out in the aforementioned broadcast producer’s answer,’ MAE’s release also mentions.





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