My experience at CIFE Summer Programme

I was invited for the second time as a speaker at the “Summer University Programme“, the 15th edition organized by CIFE (which is a private institution of higher education and research, founded in 1945, having its head office in Nice and branch offices in Istanbul, Brussels and Berlin).

This programme was focused on migration and refugees across Europe and was taught in French.

One of the organizers of this programme is Laura Spătaru Negura who is also one of the founding members of Issues Without Borders and a teacher at Nicolae Titulescu University, which is one of the organising partners.

The summer school took place in several places: 29 July- 31 July 2018 in Bucharest (Romania), 31 July-2 August in Slobozia (Romania) and 2 August-5 August 2018 in Silistra ( Bulgaria).

The programme gathered students from different countries such as France, Bulgaria, Italy, Netherlands, Ecuador. The participants got the chance to discover parts of Romania and Bulgaria, visit the surroundings, discover the culture and create great memories.

The programme included interesting lectures among which I can mention “Security in its many facets“ ( held by Raluca Miga Besteliu, professor at Nicolae Titulescu University), “The Impact of Civil Aviation on migration and its consequences on migration ( held by Sorana Paun-Pop, Politehnica University in Bucharest), Islamic Terrorism, weapon in the psychological war“ ( held by Rosemarie Olanescu, specialist in security and islam), “Terrorism: definition, movement, coverage “ ( held by Francois Dieu, Sociology Professor at Toulouse University and Director of the Study and Research Police Center), “Security and the fight against terrorism in Europe (held by Laura Laura Negură Spătaru, lawyer and Teaching Assistant at Nicolae Titulescu University).

My presentation was on: IWB (Issues Without Borders) for refugees: actions to raise awareness.

During my lecture I presented IWB actions to raise awareness on the refugee issue, thus presenting all the conferences that I have attended on behalf of IWB (in Cyprus, Georgia, Belgium, Romania)

I also presented our first promotional clip, from the first  international conference on human rights that we organized in Timisoara in November 2017 .

Furthermore I presented Refuge D’ Amour, a short film about a syrian women who obtained the refugee status in France. This short movie is meant to depict a different side of the refugee issue and it aimed at sensitize people.

After my presentation I engaged with students in a Q & A, trying to see what they think about migrants and refugees, what was their opinion about our actions to raise awareness and how they see the future of Europe in terms of migration.

I was happy to see that the students shared their thoughts during the discussion and they also gave me many ideas for our future petitions.

I had a great time, not only during my presentation but also after it, when I joined the group and explored Bucharest together, visiting the House of the People and other important places .

I hope I will be invited next year as well!

Congratulations to all the organizers, especially to Marie France Perdigon and to Laura Negura Spătaru!

 




My experience at CIFE Summer Programme

On the 1st of August 2017 I’ve attended as a speaker the international summer school Romania/Bulgaria organized by CIFE, programme focused on migration and refugee rights across Europe, taught in French. CIFE is a private institution of higher education and research, founded in 1954 with its head office in Nice and branch offices in Berlin, Brussels and Istanbul.

I was invited at this summer school by Laura Spataru-Negura, one of the founding members of Issues Without Borders, who is teaching at  Nicolae Titulescu University (the university where I am currently enrolled in a PHD programme). Nicolae Titulescu University  is  one of the organizing partners of the summer school, besides CIFE, and the European Law Institute of Sofia.

Due to this partnership, the summer school took place in several locations:  July 31 – August 1st in Bucharest (Romania), August 1st – 3rd in Slobozia (Romania) and August 3rd – 6th in Silistra (Bulgaria). The programme gathered students from different countries, such as Bulgaria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy,  Romania, Turkey, and it was held in French. The participants had the chance to discover all the cities where they attended lectures, discover the culture of the area and exchange ideas thus creating lasting memories.

The programme included interesting lectures among which I mention (in a chronological order): “The inviolability of human rights in migration.  Different types of rights in favour of migrants” (held by Laura Spataru-Negura, University of Nicolae Titulescu), “The contribution of civil aviation in the migration process and the protection of the right to life” (held by Sorana Paun-Pop, Politehnica University),  “The Route to the Balkans. Geographic aspects concerning the history of migrants in the Balkans” (held by professor Michael Hermans, HEC Liege in Belgium), “Migrations, law and barriers: two-speed Europe or two-truths Europe?” (held by professor Atanas Semov, University of Sofia, Director of the European Law Institute of Sofia), “Human Rights in Europe” (held by professor Evgeni Tanchev, University of Sofia, Attorney General at the European Union’s Court of Justice).

My lecture’s topic was on “Debates on migration management. The role of NGOs”. Because I wanted my presentation to be more interesting for students, I’ve presented my experience at Brussels in the European Parliament, where I’ve attended a conference on migration management as the president of the NGO Issues Without Borders.

In addition to the Power Point presentation I also initiated a debate with the students, a long Q&A session and I was very happy to see a lot of positive feedback.

The programme was very well-organized, I was given the opportunity to attend a lovely dinner at Caru’ cu Bere in Bucharest (the most iconic restaurant in Bucharest, in my opinion), one evening before my lecture.

I must confess that I felt very good in this program and that I will attend it next year for sure, if I will be invite it. I highly recommend it!

Congratulations to all the organizers, especially to Marie France Perdigon (director of CIFE’s summer programmes –  http://www.cife.eu/en/4/summer-university-programmes_6-1) and to Laura – thank you for inviting me!

 




The High Level Conference on Migration Management at the EU Parliament

On the 21st of June I attended  together with Elena Schigirev (also a member of Issues Without Borders) the “High Level Conference on Migration Management” organized by the EU Parliament.

The conference was aimed at finding solutions to the migration crisis and deliver on the expectations of EU citizens.

The participants at the conference were: political leaders, policymakers, stakeholders and practitioners.

The speakers included important figures such as : Antonio Tajani (President of the European Parliament); Jean-Claude Juncker (President of the European Commission); Federica Mogherini (High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission); Dario Scannapieco (Vice-president of the European Investment Bank); Markku Markkula (President of the European Committee of the Regions); Dimitris Avramopoulos (European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship); Julian King (European Commissioner for Security Union); Johannes Hahn (European Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations); Louise Arbour (United Nations Special Representative for International Migration); William Lacy Swing ( Director General of the International Organisation for Migration).

The discussions were around strengthening the EU`s internal security, discussing on the root causes of migration and ensuring a stable social and economic environment in non-EU countries as well.

The conference was divided in the following way:

There was first an introduction section, furthermore there were two round tables at the same time, the participants could choose the one that they wanted to attend:

The first round table was on “Managing asylum and migration” , with included presentations related to: “Better sharing responsibility for asylum seekers, accelerating asylum procedure”;  Addressing legal migration gapsPromoting integration; Addressing irregular migrationImplementing return decisions;  „Ensuring coherence with the Union’s human rights policy”.

The second round table which took place in parallel  was on “Promoting stability and prosperity in third countries” which included presentations related to : “Fostering economic and cultural diplomacy to ensure prosperity, tackling root causes”; „Addressing humanitarian needs”; „Helping partners prevent or manage crises on their own”; „Enhancing third countries’ capacity building in border management and asylum”; „Ensuring coherence with the Union’s human rights policy;  Ensuring democratic scrutiny of international cooperation tools”.

I chose to attend the first round table because it was more related to the work Issues Without Borders is conducting now, while Elena attended the second one because it is more related to her job. This was anyway a wise decision since we spent time after the conference and shared our thoughts from both rounds tables.

The conference continued with another round table “Strengthening the EU internal security” and lastly there was a closing session with the leaders of the political groups.

Even though there were many interesting and viable solutions raised, they have no binding force. So there are some solutions to the problem but without a political will, without consensus change is very hard to implement.

Even so, I was very happy to attend this conference, because I heard many important figures discuss about a topic that I am highly interesting in, I got the chance to exchange ideas with some of the NGOs that were given the opportunity to offer their opinion at the conference and I spend a great day in the European Parliament, an amazing building, with an amazing history.

Hopefully if next year there will be another conference on migration management Issues Without Borders will also be given the opportunity to make it`s voice heard and offer it`s expertise on this topic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




One of my life missions is to help integrate the Roma community through education.

 

 

cinca-gheorghe-picture-jpgI live in Batos (Mures County in Transylvania), where I was chosen as a representative of the community in the Local Council and I am also the President of the Roma Democratic Party in the county. I also work as a Romani language teacher in the school of Apalina, a village with  Roma inhabitants only; and I am a certified translator for Romanian, Hungarian and Romani languages.

Romani is an indo-European language similar to sanscrite and the language was recognised by the Indian State. We have a language, an anthem, a flag and now we are also recognised by the Indian Government because Roma people are descendent from India.

Even though my mother was an illiterate she always promoted the importance of education so that you can surpass your condition. I invested constantly in my education this is why I graduated at 51 years old from the University of Bucharest, the Language Faculty (Romani), studying with the biggest expert of Romani language in Romania, professor Gheorge Sariu.

I am a Roma and I am proud to be. I never felt discriminated in Romania and I never wanted to migrate to a different country.

I think what is missing in the Roma community is proper education and the lack of models. What you see is what you follow, so if children see their parents benefiting from the Romanian welfare and refusing to work then why should they go to school?

I also think that the Romanian legislation is innapropiate for Roma people. As an example if you get pregnant at 14 years old which is extremly common in the Roma community, you receive prenatal help, money which actually go to the parents of the new mother because she is a minor. How is this measure helping? This is not preventing them from getting pregnant at early ages but in a way it is actually stimulating the natality among them because the state is giving them money.

The projects for the Roma people are not managed by Roma people because different NGOs which have obtained EU funding do not understand the problems within the Roma community and are not using the funding properly.

I have written two books presenting the Roma culture, its roots, historical evolution and many other interesting facts. I wanted to shed some light regarding the Roma community.  The books are entitled ”The Untouchable from yesterday, the Roma people from Today” and ”Oarba de Mures, bloody land”.

I think that the only way in which you can improve the situation of the Roma community is through education so one of my life missions is to help integrate the Roma community through education.”

 

Copyright: © 2016 | International Organization for Migration, “I am a migrant” campaign

Webpage title: “One of my life missions is to help integrate the Roma community through education”.

Link: http://iamamigrant.org/stories/romania/cinca

Retrieved on: 10/01/2017




Borderless Europe- Blessen or Burden?

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I was invited as a speaker and as a participant at the conference „Borderless Europe- Blessen or Burden” in Cluj Napoca-Romania from the 6th to the 9th of May 2016. This conference was organized by AEGEE antenna-AEGEE Cluj with the support of the Association des Amis de Franck Biancheri (AAFB).

During the conference there were pannel discussions, workshops, Q&A sessions connected to the following subjects:  „Borderless Europe vs borders in Europe”;  „Europe in crisis- Schengen in suspension”; „Our image of refugees: change of perspective”;  „Socio-cultural  borders in Europe: the borders that define us”.

We also watched a movie called : „The Great Disaster Europe”.

We also discussed topics such as: „Socio-Economic Borders in Europe and the idea of a Universal Basic Income”; „A leap of faith-utopian thinking and acting in the 21 century Europe; Towards a Borderless Europe-what`s next?”

I was invited to offer my expertise on the migration crisis which is affecting Europe, representing thus the international human rights NGO Issues Without Borders, Issues Without Borders being one of AEGEEs partners since the beginning of 2016. My workshop was intitled: „Issues Without Borders petition: IWB for Refugees! Europe needs new legislation on migration

I presented our current project „IWB for Refugees” explaining participants that based on the same set of guidelines our team of researchers is conducting research on the member states of the European Union (analyzing the national legislation on refugees and the way the current EU legislation is transposed in the national system, conducting interviews with refugees, showing how media is depicting the issue, presenting also their social life, cultural life, access to education in these EU countries. After briefly presenting  the research I also emphasized the use of the research, sending our research in 3 different directions:

  1. at a national level in every single member state
  2. directly as a petition to the EU Parliament
  3. raise 1 000 000 signatures needed for the Citizens Initiative, pass it through the EU Commission which will implement a new EU directive, our researchers are also going to be part of the implementation process in the member states.

I really liked the fact that the participants coming from different EU countries seemed very interested in our project, they asked several questions, started telling stories from their own countries about the refugees issue, even offered recommendations for our petition and some are interested in joining our platform.

It was a great experience because we also got the chance to know each other better, we had social  and cultural events in the evenings, even a farewell dinner during the last evening, celebrating 25 years of the AEGEE local antenna- in Cluj Napoca.  The organizers were very supportive through out the entire event so thank you AEGEE Cluj for everything, thank you AEGEE, Vision for Europe and last but not least the Association des Amis de Franck Biancheri (AAFB).

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IWB for Refugees: AEGEE European Planning Meeting and to the next phase

Some of the best experiences come from bringing people together, sharing ideas, being challenged by difficult questions. Therefore, when Issues without Borders (IWB) was invited to presents its expertise on the issue of migration at AEGEE’s annual European Planning Meeting that was held in the Netherlands, I was excited to attend and discuss our project. IWB is conducting a detailed analysis on asylum procedure and refugee law in the EU member states for almost a year now and I participated as a guest speaker. I also had the pleasure of being part of the audience and listen to other presentations and hear different points of view and feel the pulse of the debate.

The topic of the 2016 session “Refugees in Europe – Europe ‘vs.’ the rest: change of perspective?” – a subject that is actually the main focus of the IWB organization

I attended the event for the two discussion panels, the first one as part of the audience and the second as a guest speaker and IWB representative.

# Panel 1: Europe vs “the rest”: do we need the others to define ourselves?

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The building of fences amid the refugee crisis has not only brought in physical borders, but also mental ones. The panel discussion aimed to reflect on the meaning of considering ourselves as European citizens and how it affects the relations of Europe to the rest of the world, especially the refugees who want to come to Europe. How can the reactions of different European countries be understood, in regards to the ‘other’? Are we building a ‘fortress Europe’ also in terms of European identity and values?

# Panel 2: Finding solutions to the current migration challenges – is there still space for solidarity in Europe?

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The aim of the panel was to provide a space for reflection on the consequences that the current migration crisis in several levels; from the perspective of European identity and values, of freedom of movement, of human rights, and economy and growth. From a different perspective, each one of the speakers had to reflect on three questions: 1) is there still space for solidarity in Europe?, 2) how can the situation look like in the future?, and 3) will the current migration influx bring a change of perspective in the current European values?

I discussed about Issues without Borders, the core values we stand for, and about the IWB for Refugees and the research we conduct in the EU member states through our volunteer members.  I gave an overview on how the project is an analysis on each EU member state legislation on refugee law and whether it is in line with international law, on how the media present the situation, and on how the refugees themselves experience the process. I underlined the fact that we, as members of our societies can and have to be pro-active and be the ones that create the change we want to see.

The debate was lively, we discussed the effect of the media and how hate speech can be counteracted, on how can there be more dialogue between citizens and their governments. We talked about the work that can be done at the micro level by each individual and its impact, and at a macro level, be it as a community, a state or as European Union. I have really enjoyed learning more about the work of the Peace and Justice Foundation, and the Kiron University that offers free studies to the refugees. It is always exciting to see the many ways in which people get involved and take initiative in different projects they believe in.

Next phase: IWB citizens’ initiative

The research we have been conducting for the past few months is ready to be published, and I am excited for the next phase in the “IWB for Refugees”. We will analyse the results from our 28 states’ reports and draft a European citizens’ initiative that will address concrete, long term solution for the “refugee crisis.”

The following period, 31 March-30 June will be dedicated to a close study of the EU state reports and for drafting the “IWB for Refugees” petition. This legislative initiative will be sent in three distinct directions:

  • At the national level in every EU state
  • At the European Parliament
  • It will be registered at the European Commission.

Together with our partners “The Development Researchers”, “Citizens Right Watch”, “Global Magazine”, “AEEGEE Europe, and supporters from the Copenhagen University, Vilnius University, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and other partners, we will gather the 1,000,000 signatures necessary for the initiative to be successful.

With its members and collaborators, IWB aims at being part of the implementation of the European Directive at the national level in each member state.