Simina, Ovidiu Laurian, ed. (2007) "Special Issue on Migration". The Romanian Journal of European Studies, 5-6, 2007. Journals > West University of Timisoara, Jean Monnet European Centre of Excellence > The Romanian Journal of European Studies, 5/6 . Editura Universitatii de Vest, Timisoara.
Economics, demography, war, persecution/repression and ecology are generally accepted as being the main source for international migration. If we put the mentality/culture among all this factors, as a major topic in understanding the phenomena which drive migration, the picture seems to widen. As mentioned in an earlier article quoted in my contribution for this special double-issue of The Romanian Journal of European Studies (authored in co-operation with Prof. Silaşi from the West University of Timişoara), before deciding to migrate, one must cross one ore more border(s): real but mostly ‘imagined’ or ‘imaginary’ borders. It is very important for each person to surpass his/her own mentality before to chose to put behind house, family, children, community and social life, and to move to other region, country or even continent for a better life. The mentality regarding the (decision to) migration is close related to the amount of information available and mainly of education. In the same time, migratory movements could become elements for an increasingly conflicting situation when there is a lack of integration of immigrants and migration policies, related to the lack of education regarding acceptance of immigrants (the mentality) and understanding of the migration phenomenon. In order to understand migration, one should know about it, firstly. When learned about migration, one may study it deeply, to see and understand the causes, consequences and implications, to learn how to take the risks and how to manage migration. Studying migration in Romania… It is not very simple. Because nowadays is more common to find migration related headlines in the media, than migration subjects in the university curricula. Starting with January 2002, Romanians travelled freely within the EU15 territory, without holding a visa for the Schengen Area. But migration became ‘a topic’ in Romania after the accession of the A8 countries (May 1st, 2004) only, and mainly around the moment of the country’s accession to the European Union. A decade ago and up to 2004, it was difficult to find academic information about Romania on migration, to compare the findings with those presented in the scientific literature abroad, to reveal similarities or differences from other countries in the region or within the European Union. Only a few reports, mostly commissioned by some international organisations, focused on migration from Romania to the European Union. During a conference in Helsinki in September 2002, I was very (positively) surprised by the welcoming of my empirical research about Romania as source and transit country for international migration: some participants asked me where/how to find such data about Romania, as provided in my paper. Indeed, at that time, it was quite a challenge to find reliable figures or good reports in order to prepare a scientific paper. Things changed since 2002, both at the national and the European level (nowadays, we may say that everybody is working on migration, reports on migration are released several times per year at the European level). But even now, when some Romanian universities and NGOs are interested in doing such research, I consider we still don’t have enough research on migration. More of that, the majority of studies are sociological, only a few uses economics for analyse, and don’t focus on all aspects. The most important socio-economic study on Romanian migration after 1990, and widely quoted after its release, could be Constantin et al. (2004), a research commissioned by the European Institute of Romania (a governmental funded body), but this uses data available before the biggest wave of EU enlargement, and some hypotheses may be already changed since then. We don’t have enough research on migration as a whole, migration and mobility being analysed from different points of view – social, economical, legal etc. On the other hand, I was not able to find Romanian studies on the legal aspects of migration. It seems to me that Romania still doesn’t have experts on legal issues as related to migration, asylum, mobility and freedom of establishment (and I do hope I am wrong!). By editing a second issue dedicated to migration and mobility, the Jean Monnet European Centre of Excellence within the West University of Timişoara, editor of The Romanian Journal of European Studies, emphasises the need for migration and mobility research in Romania. At this time, Romanian doesn’t have ‘migration studies’ in the university curricula, migration and mobility are studies as subjects in Economics, Sociology and European Studies, among the most important area of academic research. The team of the Jean Monnet European Centre of Excellence consider that Romanian university need ‘migration studies’ too. Romania should be understood as part of the European Migration Space not only as a source of labourers for the European labour market, but also as source for quality research in this matter for the European scientific arena. European Union member since 2007, Romania is part of the European area of freedom, security and justice and therefore it is interested in solving correctly all challenges incurred by the complex phenomena of migration and workers’ mobility at the European and international level. The Europe of the last few years was confronted with some major challenges: the accession of twelve new Member States, ratification of the Treaty on European Constitution, the debate on the common budged for 2007-2013, some social movement/riots with ethnic roots, the establishing of the new agenda regarding the area of security and justice, or the mobility for labour of the new Member States. Maybe one of the hottest topics was the liberalising of the accession to the European labour market for the new EU citizens from the A8 states. Together with the waves of illegal immigrants arriving continuously on the Spanish, Italian and Maltese shores, the labour mobility/migration for work of the citizens from the 8 states from the Central and Eastern Europe forced both the EU officials and the citizens from the EU15 states (the so-called ‘Old Europe’) to open the debate on the economical and mostly social consequences of labour mobility. The European Year of Workers’ Mobility 2006 has raised peoples' awareness of their rights to work in another EU country and how to exercise them, reinforced tools to help them find a job abroad, and highlighted the remaining obstacles to a genuine European job market. The collection of valuable papers on migration and mobility from issues of The Romanian Journal of European Studies No.4/2005 and No.5-6/2007, along with the colloquiums organized in Timişoara in May 2005 and May 2006, should be seen as our contribution to this important debate. The papers from this special double-issue were put together according to their scientific quality, after an anonymously peer-review selection. There are twelve papers covering migration from different points of view (unfortunately, we still do not have juridical papers). The twenty authors (and co-authors) belong to economic and social sciences, coming from sixteen universities from the Europe and the Americas. They put under debate both theoretical issues and practical results of their research. After I had the opportunity to co-organise two international colloquiums on mobility and migration (Timişoara, May 2005 and May 2006) in the framework of the Jean Monnet European Centre of Excellence of the West University of Timişoara, I was honoured to accept the important challenge of editing this special double-issue of The Romanian Journal of European Studies as Guest-editor. I thank Professor Silaşi and the editorial team for their full support. I hope I managed to do a good job here, because working at this issue emphasised the sentiment that I must do all my best to continue the idea which was at the origin of the Migratie.ro project of the School of High Comparative European Studies (SISEC) of the West University of Timişoara: promoting the idea of introducing the mobility and migration studies in the academic curricula of the Romanian universities.
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