Romanian Medical Student and Romanian Worker in France

Travailleur roumain en france razed several illegal Roma squatter camps across France and repatriated hundreds of their residents to Bulgaria and Romania in mid-August, Adrian and his family were among those left homeless. They are aware of the inter-ministerial meeting that took place on Wednesday to find a solution to the problem, but have little faith that the French government will do anything meaningful.

Roma migrants converge on France, as in other parts of Europe, because they have few other opportunities. Living conditions in the squatted Roma ghettoes of Romania are worse than in occupied French apartments and squats, while the limited social services available to them there are often inadequate compared with those offered in France. Begging and prostitution are easier and more lucrative, and the French language is easy for them to master.

Success Stories: Inspiring Tales of Romanian Workers Thriving in France

Amid the growing reliance on temporary migrant labor, Macron wants to overhaul the system that allows citizens of eastern European nations such as Romania and Poland to work in other EU countries while remaining part of their home countries’ tax and welfare systems. This enables them to work for less than local workers, putting downward pressure on wages and exacerbating wealth disparities in the West.

Since the two countries’ 2007 accession to the EU, Romanian physicians have topped the list of foreign medical practitioners with a degree from a European university working in France. They are found mainly in hospitals situated in small towns, where they relieve staff shortages. Their arrival has stimulated a debate on the nature and significance of this mobility in the context of globalisation, namely whether it is to be regarded as beneficial or detrimental for the healthcare system.