Since the first of January 2014, Romanians and Bulgarians have acquired the right to work in all the EU member states: they are now no longer required to obtain prior authorisation, they no more need an accession worker card or a registration certificate, as evidence of permission to work or of their right to reside as a worker. Instead of being a moment of fulfilling, which encompasses the liberalization of the labour market and the principle of freedom of movement, putting an equal between all the citizens of the European Union, 1st of January 2014 turned into an endless fierce debate on the European Union and its capacity of being sustainable. This debate, fuelled by the extremist parties and held by the media and particularly by the tabloid journalism, has brought continuously to the attention of the public the good, the bad and the ugly parts of European integration. Maybe less the good and definitely more the bad and the ugly. The story hit the headlines of the main journals in several European countries, and in two of them in particular: France and United Kingdom.
The paper The anti-migration discourse with regard to Romanian and Bulgarian citizens in France and Great Britain: between blame culture, negative stereotypes and prejudice was realized by Andreea-Doina Călbează, MA Université Libre de Bruxelles and Policy Research Fellow Open Society Foundations and takes a look at the latest developments in terms of anti-migration public discourse with regard to Romanian and Bulgarian workers, by analyzing – content-wise and in terms of spreading – articles published in the media from UK and France, two of the countries where the subject was the most prominent during the period end of 2013 and beginning of 2014. The timeframe chosen for the analysis is reach in events, with national elections taking place, with lifting the labour market restrictions for Romanians and Bulgarians and with the 8th Europe-wide election of the European Parliament. All the more so, the paper is looking into the demystification of the Romanian and Bulgarian migrants, by building a portrait of the common citizen residing in another EU country, by means of available statistics. Not lastly, the paper searches, with the help diplomats, journalists and experts working in the field, to explain the context in which the EU2 nationals became targets of an aggressive and harsh rhetoric, to spot the dangers of and to give an answer to the worrisome rise of anti-migration public discourse in EU countries.