The immigration of Romanian Roma to Western Europe: Causes, effects and future engagement strategies. 2013-2017.

Project objectives


The project will pursue the following objectives:


  1. To carry out a three stage, longitudinal survey among recent Romanian Roma migrants in urban communities in Spain, Italy, France and the UK, and in their origin communities in Romania. The survey will be based on recorded oral interviews in the Romani language, carried out by a team of researchers who have close familiarity with Roma culture, customs, language, and social organisation forms, and assisted by a number of Roma research assistants and interpreters. The survey will firstly elicit a standardised, objective set of measures designed to obtain an overall picture of the communities. This will include age, skills, employment and employment history, health and access to health care, education and access to education, number of dependents, housing situation, and migration history. It will also elicit testimonies of participants in order to obtain a picture of the reasons and motivations for migration, the role of family and social networks and the socio-economic organisation of life in the migrant community, the social and economic effects of migration on the home communities including the role of women in productive and reproductive activities, the aspirations of various generations in the community, attitudes to neighbours and institutions, values and cultural activities, the reaction to local authority interventions, and reciprocal relations with Roma migrant communities of the same origin in other locations (‘diasporic networks’). The three consecutive stages of the survey – a pilot survey, an extended survey, and a follow-up survey – will be designed to capture developments and changes of attitudes and activities in the community during the investigation period. The outcome will be an Ethnography of Roma Migration, which will contribute to an understanding of the triggers and the internal structure of the process of migration among Roma from Romania.
  2. To investigate reactions to Roma migrations in the individual countries, based on interviews with representatives of local services and officials, media reports, policy measures, and opinion surveys among residents that live in proximity to Roma migrants. On this basis, to derive conclusions about effective measures to confront stereotyping and prejudice and to improve community relations.
  3. To devote special attention to the position of young Roma women in migrant communities, who, perhaps more so than others, experience the tension between the values and demands of the traditional community and its gender and family roles, and the opportunities and expectations of their new social environment.
  4. To assess policy measures targeting migrant Roma communities in an integrated way that takes into consideration both the articulated views and needs of the Roma migrants and the position of the local authority; and to make use of the participation of a local authority in the project to draft, test, implement, and assess the impact of a variety of measures of advice and support, capacity building and consultation offered to the Roma migrant community.
  5. In the absence of an established Roma scientific community in the fields of social sciences (with the exception of few individuals), to pilot the inclusion of Roma in an active role in the research by recruiting, training and engaging individuals from within the Roma migrant communities or other Roma communities, thus making a direct contribution to capacity-building.
  6. To disseminate project analyses in the form of reports, European policy briefs, academic papers, and media and educational packages through conferences, public events, meetings with policy makers, websites and publications. To use the connections, experience, and present role of the participants as expert consultants to distribute the project’s recommendations among policy makers. In this way, to make a lasting contribution toward the shaping of a realistic policy at local, national and EU levels that will be sensitive to the needs and dignity of Roma migrants and their host communities.