British Ambassador to Bucharest Robin Barnett is answering the questions of readers live in a Q&A session. He said in the early part of the session that the Government of Britain considered the policy of controlled migration a success but decided to maintain restrictions on the access of Romanian and Bulgarian workers on the British market because of the existing pressure on public services and of the evaluation of necessities of the labor market in his country.

Full Q&A session (in Romanian)

  • He would not comment on the schedule of the process of reviewing the regulations covering the access of Romanians on the British labor market.
  • He said Britain supports the EU accession of Turkey but it was impossible to him to evaluate how long it would take for Turkey to fulfill all accession terms.
  • He said Romania managed to report significant progress in justice reform over the past several years but that the Romanian Government has accepted much was yet to be done in this regard. He would not comment on Romanian Parliament's due decision on a recent recommendation of the Judicial Commission of the House that the Parliament reject an inquiry on former PM Adrian Nastase.
  • Asked about a recent McCann Erickson marketing report pointing towards increasing cynicism in Britain about environment issues as well as Briton's increasingly moody attitude towards crime and immigration, Barnett said all EU citizens were concerned about issues such as the environment and the situation of economy, crime and immigration. He said Britain and its EU partners have been working to find solutions to these issues, as shown at the European Council last week. He said Romanians do not have a negative image in Britain and the issue was the outdated perceptions among Romanians and Britons. He said the development of tourism and trade exchanges in both directions was the best method to update such perceptions.
  • He said he regretted that no British team qualified for Euro 2008 but that he supported Romania during its performance in the championship. He said he hoped Romanian national football team coach Piturca had a good performance, considering Romania's adversaries and that he hoped Piturca would stay as a long-term coach of the national team.
  • He would not speculate on the possible activation of the safeguard clause by the European fora - a tool that would allow the EU to sanction a possible lack of progress in Romania's justice sector reform
  • He said he had many satisfying experiences in Romania and has seen many wonderful places such as the monasteries in Bucovina, North Romania, the Szeklers village of Malancrav in Central Romania or a plant where steam engines are repaired in Cluj, while noting the Romanian hospitality. As "less pleasant experiences" he noted the infernal road traffic in Bucharest, the quality of services in some hotels and restaurants and the long waiting for the bill at restaurants. He said foreign tourists should understand the evel done to Romania by its more than 40 years of communism.
  • He concluded with an appeal for individual action to deal with climate change, such as recycling and energy saving, sampling the problem with the heat wave that is now affecting Bucharest in mid-June. He also appealed in his concluding note Romania's stand as a former communist country on human rights issues abroad, welcoming its stand on Myanmar and pushing for "us all to take stand on violence in Zimbabwe".