New journey in the Balkans, to bring back fresh news. A few days in Bucharest on the road to Istanbul.
Romania is traditionally a country of emigration rather than immigration. In fact, immigration is small and inconspicuous. It is also recent, since the 90s.
In terms of non-European immigration, it comes mainly from Arab countries and China for trade and the creation of small businesses, and Central Asia and Africa for asylum seekers. Romania is also a transit country to the Central and Western Europe, coming from Ukraine and Turkey.
Romania has made over from the European border surveillance, especially for EU external border with Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova. It opened two detention centers, in Otopeni, near Bucharest International Airport, and Arad, near the Hungarian and Serbian borders.
A reception system for asylum seekers has also set up after years of hesitation. During the 90s, the treatment of some asylum claims could be spread over years, sometimes 7-8 years, failing decision procedure defined.
Today, about 12% of asylum applications receive a positive response. Very few negative responses are challenged on appeal.
Asylum seekers are housed, which is better than in France, even if this accommodation is basic, and especially the staff not enough. Reception and accommodation centers are in Bucharest, near the border with Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova (Galati, Radauti, Maramuresi), near the border with Hungary and Serbia (Timisoara), and for latest, on the border of Bulgaria (Giurgiu).
If accommodation exists, the legal support whatsoever or in terms of knowledge of society and social relations, is very inadequate. Although the procedure is generally shorter, access to the labor market is possible if it lasts more than a year, but it is very difficult for foreigners to find work.
The same problem applies to those who obtain refugee status. Access to paid employment, and even black jobs, is very difficult. Some are doing by putting themself in their behalf, others receive money from their families. Others leave Romania. If they continue their journey to Europe, they leave their fingerprints in Eurodac file, and then they are caught in the trap of Dublin II: they are allowed to seek asylum in one country, although it can not accommodate them.