Lost at sea II

militantsmigrantsmed

Islamic State militants in Libya have threatened to attack Europe, while boatloads of migrants flee the collapsing state for European shores. Could the migrant flows provide a cover for the militants – as Italy and Egypt have claimed? Their warnings evoke a vicious logic, at odds with humanitarian imperatives: refugees bring conflict, as conflict breeds refugees. Analysis for the BBC News website.

Advertisements

How to Get Ahead in Romanian Politics

romania_corruption

Romania’s EU-backed anti-corruption agency is a rare success story – upright and efficient. But the politicians it has targeted refuse to go away. They have been humiliated in courtrooms, only to be resurrected at the ballot box. Report by Vlad Odobescu. My edit for BfJE/Balkan Insight and New Statesman.

Reporting Europe Prize 2013

The Reporting Europe prize for 2013 has been awarded for a story that I edited about the exploitation of Romanian and Bulgarian labourers in Britain.

Sorana Stanescu, a TV journalist based in Romania, received the award at a ceremony in Westminster, central London, on 13 May.

sorana and neil_640x480

Sorana Stanescu (left) and I pose with the prize against the Westminster skyline.

Her story, published by Balkan Insight and the New Statesman, revealed how the UK’s labour restrictions had left migrant workers underpaid and vulnerable to exploitation.

The Reporting Europe prize is organised by UACES, the world’s largest European studies association. Past winners include journalists from the BBC, The Economist and the International Herald Tribune.

Dr Martyn Bond, a jury member and deputy chair of the London press club, described the winning story as “particularly apposite” and “well-written”.

“The whole question of migrant labour in a highly developed economy… is illustrated through this,” he said. “But it doesn’t do it in a preachy didactic manner. It does it through a human story. And that’s the best sort of journalism.”

“It gives us facts behind the fictions… that we hear trotted out daily in the political ding-dong that passes for serious debate here on the immigration issue.”

The ceremony included a short discussion, where Stanescu and I joined the chair of UACES, Helen Drake, to talk about the background to the story and its impact.

The report was produced for the Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence.

Better a Polish Plumber than a Romanian Builder

newstatesman

An investigation into how British restrictions on EU workers have created a supply of underpaid and unprotected manpower for the construction sector. The UK government insists that its rules are meant to stem the tide of migrants. Report by Sorana Stanescu. My edit for BfJE/Balkan Insight and the New Statesman.

‘Pssst! Wanna buy EU citizenship?’

eu citizenship

Investigation into the racket in Romanian passports for fake applicants. Report by Adrian Mogos and Vitalie Calugareanu. My edit for Balkan Insight.

Balkan festival bangs on Brussels’ door

For the generation growing up after the Balkan conflict, Serbia’s Exit festival helps highlight the inequity of visa restrictions imposed by Western European nations. Report from Novi Sad for BBC News, July 2006