POSTS BY Raluca Bejan

COVID-19 and Disposable Migrant Workers

Picture this: The world is battling a pandemic, with many countries in lockdown and borders closed. You arrive at a regional airport in northern Romania and wait for hours in the parking lot to board a charter flight. You might end up in Baden-Baden, Berlin or Düsseldorf—it’s hard to know, since no one is telling you what the final destination is. Physical distancing seems not to apply. You are jammed together with 2000 other people waiting to be placed as seasonal workers in the fields of Germany. Asparagus needs to be picked and the new crop need to be planted so the Germans can enjoy uninterrupted production of the spring vegetable through 2020 and 2021.

Continue Reading →

Johnson’s Withdrawal Agreement Fails Romanian and Bulgarian Migrant Workers

Romanian and Bulgarian nationals might not be British workers, but they are nevertheless workers. And both the EU and the UK have an ethical responsibility to outline provisions so that Brexit does not further marginalize the very same group of workers who already face discrimination in the British labour market.

Continue Reading →

A 50/50 Ball: The East versus the EU in the Refugee Relocation Game

Last week, Advocate General Yves Bot dismissed the claims of Hungary and Slovakia against the EU refugee relocation scheme. The Commission has launched an infringement procedure against the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland for not fulfilling their quota. The East/West divide in the matter of refugee relocation could be seen as evidence that the former communist countries are culturally backwards, liberally underdeveloped, and have low tolerance levels in regards to cultural and religious diversity. Yet there is no empirical research that shows that the East is more racist and xenophobic than the West. What else could explain this dangerous phenomenon?

Continue Reading →