By Adina Maglan - 07 April 2019
On April 4th, the first roundtable between Dr. Debbie Weekes – Bernard, Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement, and representatives of the Romanian community in London took place at the City Hall. Our organisation, represented by Development Manager Adina Maglan contributed to the three main topics on the agenda:
The meeting was informed by statistical information prepared by the organisers. Dr. Elisabeth Pop, Community and Social Integration Officer (on secondment from HOPE not Hate) chaired the meeting in a very engaging way, ensuring that everyone at the table had their voices heard. It was very positive to hear from many under-represented groups, such as faith groups, vulnerable migrant workers, Roma Romanians, and young people. The presence of the representatives of the Romanian Embassy ensured a holistic view on the many challenges Romanian Londoners are facing.
From the information booklet provided at the meeting, we learn that:
- 49.4% of housebuilding workers are EU nationals; of those, half come from Romania;
- the number of NINo registrations by Romanians in London has been falling since its peak in 2014;
- Harrow, Brent, and Redbridge are the three top boroughs with the largest Romanian populations.
The information provided confirms the findings of our team, with 72% of our beneficiaries being Romanian and many of them working in construction/housebuilding. During the meeting, many of the precarity elements we have come across in our work have also been mentioned by other community leaders or groups.
Work Rights Centre contributed in particular to the topics on workers' rights in the context of Brexit, general social integration challenges for vulnerable workers, and the potential barriers for Romanians, following the implementation of the new Immigration Bill. We are pleased to confirm that our views have been taken into account and we hope that a next meeting will be planned soon.
Dr. Debbie Weekes – Bernard, Deputy Mayor of London for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement, declared:
“I was delighted to be able to host representatives of the London Romanian community at City Hall. Romanian Londoners are our family members, friends and colleagues and they should know that #LondonIsOpen and we want them to remain part of the fabric of our great capital. In my role as Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement, I want to ensure that the voice of the Romanian community in London is heard across all the Mayor’s programmes, to ensure they make use of the EU Londoners Hub to facilitate their application for Settled Status, but also to strengthen the links between the Romanian community and City Hall and support their long term social integration.”
For more information on our work and demographic data of our beneficiaries, please visit our recently launched Our Impact web page.
Following on from the Romanian roundtable, we encourage all EU nationals, including Romanian citizens, to access the EU Londoners Hub for free information available in various community languages on the Settled Status and accredited support services available in their area.