8 February 13

Bucharest Conference To Probe EU Labour Curbs

A conference in Bucharest this February will discuss the impact of working restrictions on Romanian citizens in the EU, following an investigation by Sorana Stanescu that won the top prize in the 2012 Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence.

A panel of experts – including senior politicians, trade union officials and academics – will consider how the labour curbs imposed by several EU members on Romanian migrants have affected their economies and the rights of their workers.

The panelists will also look at the political context within which these transitional measures were imposed.

In the UK, an ongoing debate over immigration and EU membership has been fuelled by the government’s announcement that it will be lifting the labour restrictions at the end of 2013, in accordance with EU rules.

The conference, entitled “Six Years of Working Restrictions for Romanians on the EU Labour Market”, is due to take place on February 13 at Bucharest’s Hotel Novotel.

Speakers at the event include Renate Weber, MEP; Luminiţa Odobescu, a state counselor in the Romanian government; Vasile Puşcaş, Romania’s chief negotiator with the EU from 2000 – 2004; Dumitru Sandu, a sociologist at the University of Bucharest; and Sorana Stănescu, a journalist with TVR.

Sean Bamford, an expert on migration policy with the Trades Union Congress, one of the largest confederations in the UK, will be joining us to discuss the particular case of the working restrictions imposed on Romanians in the UK.

The conference is organised by the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence. Romanian journalist Sorana Stănescu won the Fellowship’s first prize in 2012 for her investigation “Cheap, and Far from Free: The Migrants Building Britain” . Her report exposed how Romanian and Bulgarian construction workers in the UK are more likely to be exploited as a result of the restrictions.

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