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Romani Women Activism in Romania: the ‘Transformative Role’ of the EU?

Serena D'Agostino

Inspired by existing research on the Europeanization of minority politics, this paper assumes the existence of a link between European integration and minority mobilization, in particular Romani women mobilization. Building on both Europeanization and social movement theories, and using intersectionality as key-concept for explaining and exploring Romani women activism, this paper starts from the theoretical assumption that the EU provides minority activists with a new ‘arena’ for collective action, with new ‘opportunities’ at both the national and transnational levels. Through a bottom-up investigation of Romani women activism in Romania, this study inquires whether it is possible or not to confirm this assumption, and explains why this is so. It explores the ‘effects’ of the EU integration process on Romani women activism by taking into account (i) the structural changes (e.g. resource access, level of professionalization, leadership, etc.) occurred in the last two decades in Romani women and/or pro-Roma women organizations and (ii) the ways their role changed in relation to both institutions (e.g. involvement in policy-making/consultation processes) and other relevant civil society actors (e.g. new partnerships and coalitions) at both the national and the transnational levels.

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