Romanian migration to the United Kingdom
7,631 (2001 Census)
170,000 (2014 ONS estimate))
|Regions with significant populations|
|London (primarily Northern boroughs), Oxford, Cambridge, Nottingham, Birmingham, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Cardiff|
|Romanian Orthodox Church|
Romanians in the United Kingdom refers to the phenomenon of Romanian people moving to the United Kingdom as citizens or non-citizen immigrants, along with British citizens of Romanian descent. The opportunities for Romanians to migrate to the UK increased when Romania joined the European Union in 2007, and a transitional cap on migration from Romania and Bulgaria expired on 1 January 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 work in the UK, which expired on 1 January 2014. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates that, in 2012, 101,000 Romanian-born people were resident in the UK. In 2014, the ONS estimates that 170,000 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.
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, 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
- Paul Neagu, artist
- Ion Raţiu, politician
- Viorel Tilea, ambassador
- "Country-of-birth database". Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Retrieved 2008-11-30.
- Travis, Alan (30 December 2014). "No surge of Romanian and Bulgarian migrants after controls lifted". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
- "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.
- "Table 1.3: Overseas-born population in the United Kingdom, excluding some residents in communal establishments, by sex, by country of birth, January 2014 to December 2014". Office for National Statistics. 27 August 2015. Retrieved 9 December 2015. Figure given is the central estimate. See the source for 95 per cent confidence intervals.
- "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.
- "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
- Ziarul Romanesc - Weekly Newspaper for Romanians in the UK
- Anunturi Gratuite UK - Classified ads for the Romanian community in the UK
- Anuntul de UK
- Romanian Orthodox Churches in the UK
- Romanian cultural centre of London
- 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