Razvan Stan


Interim Activity Report



During the first part of the fellowship year I mainly focussed on collecting relevant data from different sources, and on establishing contacts with relevant institutions and organizations. As it is an ongoing policy research project, the activities undertaken in this 1st stage facilitated a better formulation of the problem and challenged some of the initial assumptions. In the following lines these activities are described according to their type.


  1. Document analysis


I have reviewed the following documents:


* Romanian legislation and Governmental strategies in the field of migration management and illegal migration prevention. Particular attention was given to the transformation of the legislative framework in the context of the process of European Union integration. The evolution of the conditions for travelling in Schengen space was also monitored.

* Country Reports on Romania’s Progress towards Accession with a special focus on ‘Free Movement of Persons’ and ‘Justice and Home Affairs’ negotiation chapters

* Relevant Position Papers

* The legislation for the functioning of Romanian Border Police

* Normative documents relevant for the functioning of the institutions in charge for creating legal labour migration channels, namely ‘the Office for Labour Migration’ and ‘the Department for Labour Abroad’

* Reports of Romanian European Institute on Romanian migration during the last years.

* Reports of International Organization for Migration – Mission in Romania, on irregular migration and its associated risks.

* Literature on migration theory, research and public policy – useful for projecting the research methodology.


  1. Establishing contacts and collaboration with relevant governmental institutions and intergovernmental organizations


I have contacted and collaborated with the following institutions:


* General Inspectorate of Romanian Border Police


Contacts were established with the chief of Romanian Border Police, General Inspector Nelu Pop. The following data were requested from this institution: a. the evolution of the number of Romanian citizens who were not allowed to cross the national boundaries, b. the evolution of the number of Romanian citizens who were returned from the transit or destination countries, c. the evolution of the number of human smuggling and trafficking networks discovered, d. the evolution of the number of corruption deeds identified at the level of Border Police officers.


* Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Family – Department for Labour Abroad, Office for the Labour Migration


The Chief Secretary Daniela Ncicoleta Andreescu who is currently leading the Department for Labour Abroad was contacted. The representatives of the Office for the Labour Migration (OLM) provided useful data regarding the yearly evolution of the number of Romanian citizens who were supported by OLM to get labour contracts abroad.


* International Organization for Migration (IOM)– Mission in Romania


The chief of OIM Mission in Romania, Cristina Gheorghe Tranca, offered to support Romanian Academic Society – the organization in which I am activating - in migration related projects. OIM representatives helped in documenting this project and offered for consultation their reports on irregular migration, human trafficking and migration management. They also provided useful contacts and ideas for developing this project.


  1. Participation to conferences and seminars


* I participated at the conference ‘Irregular Migration: Research, Policy and Practice’, organized in Oxford, between 7-8 July 2005 by Centre on Migration Policy and Society (COMPAS). During the seminars held at Oxford I had the opportunity to discuss my initial research findings and to better orient my policy research. I also had the chance to meet leading academics, policy makers and practitioners who were invited to explore the nature, dynamics and challenges of irregular migration.


* I also participated at the Workshop on Developments and Patterns of Migration Processes in Central and Eastern Europe held on 25-27 August in Prague. This event was organized by Multicultural Centre Prague. The regional focus proved to be a good complement to the conference held in Oxford. Issues directly relevant for my IPF project were debated in the seminars on ‘Migration Policies and Migrants’ practices’ and on ‘Migration Management’. A paper on the impact on migration on sending contexts was presented with this occasion. 


  1. Field Research in one high-rate Romanian sending region


The 1st stage of the field research was carried in high-rate rural sending region from Eastern Romania. This region was selected starting from the data-base resulted after the last national surveys which had migration as one of their themes (Public Opinion Barometer). Research revealed that the labour migration strategies greatly vary between legality (or regularity) to different degrees of irregularity. Practices of irregular migration were identified either in present or in different stages of the migration process. The in-depth interview centred on migration history and experience was the main research method.


In order to investigate illegal or irregular migration factors, means and effects, an operational definition was used. Irregularity was explored in the practices of border crossing and associated corruption, in the cases of overstaying visas, in situations of working without legal permit and, generally speaking, in the situation of being without documents. Special attention was given to the structure, dynamics, rules and mechanisms of smuggling networks.


The micro-level anthropological approach proved to be very useful in exploring migration practices and networks. Besides, this kind of research offered an interesting and revealing perspective ‘from below’ on the functioning of the institutions (from sending, transit and receiving countries) which should regulate and stimulate legal migration. A distinction between the ‘formal’ and ‘informal’ rules of migration can be traced starting from the research findings. Among other aspects, the interviews explored the attitudes of Romanian migrant-workers toward the increasing border-crossing restrictions as well as the perception, attitudes and expectations toward the central institutions which are in charge to facilitate and regulate migration.

Interviews with local and county authorities were also held and focussed on the social and economic costs of irregular migration


From the interviews with migrants, a general tendency toward legalization or regularization was observed. Migrants usually enter an irregular status especially in the first stage of the migration process. Besides it can be assumed from the research findings that the illegal migration networks and practices are more extended and active if the migration restrictions are increasing.


  1. Ongoing policy research


The next stage of the project will mainly focus on data processing (especially field research findings). Second, interviews will be held with representatives from relevant central institutions and with labour mediating agents at regional level. Third, the field research revealed new needs for documentation.  Immigration legislation from the main destination countries and comparative literature on the cases of other countries (EU accession countries, new EU members, other receiving countries) will be reviewed. A comparative perspective will facilitate the transfer of practices and possible solutions from the experience of these countries for a better management of migration in East-European region. The last but not the least, documentation activity will focus on theoretical works on illegal and irregular migration for a better definition and approaching of these complex phenomena.


Publication Report


A policy paper on ‘Irregular Migration Factors, Risks and Management. The Case of Romanian Workers’ will be published. A possibility is to publish it in Policy Warning Report, one of the main publications on Romanian Academic Society. The paper ‘Migration and Development. A Challenge for Romania in the European Union Integration Process’ is forthcoming in Policy Warning Report.


A more academic paper, which will extend the empirical research analysis and the policy implications based on it, will be also published. Possible publishers for the IPF research policy paper are Romanian Sociological Review (Bucharest) and Migration Online (Prague).





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