On 10 April we had a pleasure of hosting Andreea Pastirnac, the Minister for Romanians Abroad in the national government of Romania.
The meeting was an opportunity to discuss issues faced by Romanians in the UK that contribute to disadvantage and poverty of some sections of Romanian communities in the UK. Mainly, we focused on problems linked to:
- exploitative work conditions and mechanisms that contribute to some Romanian workers being badly treated in the workplace
- levels of savings that stop some workers ‘stuck’ in low-paid and exploitative workplaces from seeking better job opportunities as they feel unable to take risks to quit jobs due to lack of money to carry them and their families through the process
- unique issues faced by new arriving individuals and families
- uncertainties around the UK leaving the EU in two years’ time and impact it has on quality of life of some Romanian communities in the UK
- new developments in the UK with the potential of adversely affecting Romanians and other Eastern Europeans, such as increased immigration controls in accessing healthcare
Mrs. Pastinac shared with us some mechanisms available to organisations helping Romanians abroad to fight exploitation by rogue employers and recruiters. We also looked at best practice in outreach and awareness raising.
The visit was a great pleasure and honour, and we hope to continue cooperation with the government of the Romania for the benefit of Romanian communities in the UK. It is particular important in the context of approaching Brexit negotiations – our aim is to advocate for the Brexti solutions that would have the best impact on all Eastern Europeans in the UK.