Romanian migration to the United Kingdom
7,631 (2001 Census)
101,000 (2012 ONS estimate)
|Regions with significant populations|
|London (primarily Northern boroughs), Oxford, Cambridge, Nottingham, Birmingham, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Cardiff|
|Romanian Orthodox Church, Judaism Irreligious|
The opportunities for Romanians to migrate in large numbers to the UK began when Romania joined the European Union in 2007, and a transitional cap expired in 2014.
History, population and settlement
The small number of Romanians that first arrived in Britain were primarily Jews fleeing persecution during the Second World War. The activities of the Romanian exiles started in 1941, through the effort of individuals such as Ambassador Viorel Tilea, Major George-Emil Iliescu, and legal counselor Ecaterina Iliescu. They founded the Anglo-Romanian Refugee Committee in 1948. The Free Romanian Orthodox Church is active, in parallel, between 1950–55, under the leadership of Father Gildau, with a Parish Committee chaired by Mihai Carciog. This, then, is transformed into the 'Romanian Orthodox Women's Association in the UK', which, in turn, becomes in 1965 the British-Romanian Association - also known under its Romanian name of ACARDA ("Asociatia Culturala a Romanilor din Anglia") - through the initiative of a representative group of individuals from the small Romanian community, including Ion Ratiu, Horia Georgescu, George Ross and Leonard Kirschen, Marie-Jeanne MacDonald, Gladys Wilson, Sanda Carciog and Mihai Carciog. Ion Ratiu is the President of the British-Romanian Association between 1965 - 1985, followed by Iolanda Stranescu Costide between 1985 until its closure in 1996, the organisation having fulfilled its aim to restore a democratic regime in Romania.
At the time of the 2001 Census, 7,631 Romanian-born people were residing in the UK. When Romania joined the European Union in January 2007, the British government placed transitional restrictions on the rights of Romanians to move to the UK, which were subsequently extended and currently remain in place. The Office for National Statistics estimates that, in 2012, 101,000 Romanian-born people were resident in the UK.
In June 2009, some 115 Romanian citizens of Roma ethnicity living in Belfast fled their homes in the south of the city after a spate of what the BBC described as "racist" attacks, including bricks being thrown through windows. Some 20 families sought refuge in a local church hall before being transferred to a local leisure centre. The actions were condemned by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Northern Ireland Alliance Party politician Anna Lo. It is believed that the majority of the individuals targeted are ethnic Roma. The displaced families were temporarily rehoused, but the majority subsequently decided to leave Northern Ireland and return to Romania.
There has been a flow of Romanian job seekers entering the UK for recent years although the UK Government requires them to apply for permission before starting to work. Migrant workers from Romania do not consider the UK the most favourite destination to come and work. About 90,000 Romanians applied for 22,000 jobs in the UK in the first half of the year 2011.
Most Romanians belong to the Romanian Orthodox Church religion and there are several Romanian Orthodox churches throughout the UK, such as those in Aberdeen, Ballymena, Birmingham, Boston, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Caterham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London (City and Kingsbury), Luton, Northampton, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford or Poole.
Famous Britons of Romanian descent
- Simona Armstrong, singer and actress
- Vera Atkins, intelligence officer during World War II
- J. J. Benjamin, historian
- Octav Botnar, businessman
- Alina Cojocaru, dancer
- George Constantinescu, scientist, engineer and inventor
- Moses Gaster, scholar
- George Iacobescu, chief executive of the Canary Wharf Group
- The Cheeky Girls (Gabriela and Monica Irimia), singers
- David Mitrany, scholar
- Ion Raţiu, politician
- Viorel Tilea, ambassador
- "Country-of-birth database". Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Retrieved 2008-11-30.
- "EU worker restrictions to remain". BBC News. 2007-10-30. Retrieved 2008-11-30.
- "Estimated overseas-born population resident in the United Kingdom, by country of birth (Table 1.3)". Office for National Statistics. August 2013. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
- "Fleeing Romanians are rehoused". BBC News. 2009-06-17. Retrieved 2010-05-22.
- "Romanians leave NI after attacks". BBC News. 23 June 2009. Retrieved 6 December 2009.
- "WORK PERMITS AND ACCESSION WORKER CARDS". UK Border Agency. Retrieved 2013-10-31.
- "UK Immigration Is the Most Popular for Romanian Migrant Workers". Migration Expert. Retrieved 2011-10-12.
- "Parohii din Regatul Unit al Marii Britanii şi al Irlandei de Nord". Mitropolia Ortodoxǎ Românǎ a Europei Occidentale şi Meridionale. Retrieved 2012-05-09.
- Romanian Embassy in London
- Romanian Orthodox Churches in the UK
- Romanian cultural centre of London
- Ziarul Romanesc - Weekly Newspaper for Romanians in the UK
- ClickRomania.co.uk - The Romanian Community in UK
- Diaspora online
- Roman in UK - newspaper for Romanians in the UK
- Romani Online
- BBC English Language portal
- BBC news - Romanians in Britain