Ciprian Cătălin Necula

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Ciprian-Cătălin NECULA
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Born7th of September, 1979
EducationPhD Sociology - National School of Political and Administrative Studies, Bucharest BA Political Science - National School of Political and Administrative Studies, Bucharest
Alma materNational School of Political and Administrative Studies (SNSPA Bucharesr)
OccupationExecutive Chair of Roma Education Fund Associate Professor at SNSPA Bucharest
Known forHuman right activism
TitleState Secretary, EU Funds Ministry, Romanian Government

Dr. Ciprian-Cătălin NECULA is a Roma activist, exercising various professions and public positions to promote an inclusive society and to reduce the marginalization and exclusion of Roma in Romania.

Ciprian started his career as a Roma activist under the supervision and mentorship of Nicolae Gheorghe, using innovative tools to address the stereotypes and prejudices against Roma.[1]. He has been a journalist[2][3], a leader of public campaigns, a promoter of social-economic projects, a political analyst, a co-founder of a social enterprise, the leader of a Roma NGO, a consultant for international organizations and a debater in public media. He also served as a State Secretary in the Romanian Ministry of European Funds[4].

Early life

Ciprian was born on the 7th of September 1979 in Bucharest. Growing up in a neighborhood in the eastern part of the capital city, Ciprian's dream was to become a police officer. He asserts that the primary motivation behind his desire was his frustration with the stereotypical image associated with the Roma minority. Wanting to change perceptions about this minority group, he aimed to attend a preparatory high school for a career in law enforcement, but he ended up enrolling in an industrial high school at his mother's request.

Ciprian states that in his childhood, he struggled with embracing his Romani identity. Surrounded by external perceptions of Romani people as criminals and vagrants, he underwent an internal conflict. He knew he belonged to the Romani ethnicity, but he did not identify with society's perception of "Gypsies."

Years of activism

The struggle that Ciprian endured against the discrimination that surrounded him throughout his childhood, as well as the internalized discrimination he faced, shaped him into the activist he would become.

”Core memory”

One of Ciprian's earliest memories that led him towards a life of activism is the moment when he tried to buy candies for his younger cousins with money earned through strenuous physical work. They were traveling on a crowded public bus, and at one point, Ciprian felt something warm on his leg. It was urine from his little cousin, who had accidentally wet herself due to someone hitting her on the head, falsely suspecting her of theft just because she was Romani. Ciprian recalls that this was the first time he felt true anger and realized that his ethnic background could create problems for him. When he turned 19, his family raised money to buy him a car. Though it was an old car, it was a necessity for him to avoid having to ride the bus with his hands raised to prove he wasn't stealing.

Ciprian acknowledges that it wasn't easy for him to embrace his ethnic identity. It took seeing Mădălin Voicu on television speaking openly about being Roma to inspire him. Therefore, at the age of 17, Ciprian, in his desire to create a society where Roma people are not discriminated, became the leader of several movements aimed at bringing public attention to the issues facing the Roma community.

”Swan eaters”

In 1998, a journalist from "Evenimentul Zilei" (a Romanian newspaper), on assignment in Austria, wrote an article about "Gypsies" allegedly eating swans from a particular lake. In response, Ciprian, along with a group of roma students, organized a protest event. They brought several chicken drumsticks, inviting passersby to "taste the swan" for themselves. They also brought black and white painted eggs to mimic swan eggs and had a dance troupe perform "Swan Lake" in front of the embassy. As a result, the ambassador came out to support the movement and confirm that there had never been swans on that particular lake.

”A pig its a pig, regardless of its color”

After a series of controversial statements by former Romanian President Traian Băsescu, who attributed Romania's inability to join the Schengen Area to Roma beggars in Finland, Ciprian organized a protest where several people gathered in front of the Cotroceni Palace to "beg" for a decent speech from the President. Simultaneously, a number of pigs were brought to illustrate that pigs are pigs, regardless of their color.

Nicolae Gheorghe - The Mentor

Ciprian takes pride in the fact that he had Nicolae Gheorghe as his mentor, whom he describes as a hero among the Roma community [5]. He states that he learned many valuable lessons from him, and his perspective on combating discrimination is shaped by the principles and mindset initiated by Nicolae Gheorghe.

Nicolae Gheorghe passed away in 2013, at which point Ciprian Necula continued his mission.

Impact and Legacy

Over the years, Ciprian Necula's work has contributed to the establishment of a non-stereotypical image of the Roma community and has played a crucial role in the fight against discrimination through numerous actions, both as an activist and as a member of the government. Furthermore, Ciprian Necula serves as a role model inspiring [6] new generations of activists through concrete actions aimed at empowering young individuals working in the field.

”Roma Study” Master program

Together with Professor Vintilă Mihăilescu, Ciprian Necula is the co-founder of the "Roma Studies" Master's program. Currently, Ciprian is also the coordinator of this program[7]. The postgraduate Master's program in Roma Studies is designed for all graduates interested in public policy issues related to vulnerable groups, particularly Roma communities. The primary mission of the Master's program is practical, aiming to train and enhance experts in the field of public policies for social inclusion, with a focus on understanding and managing the current issues faced by Roma communities [8]

The Museum of Romani Culture

As president and founding member of the NGO Romano ButiQ, Ciprian was one of the main characters that layed the foundation of the first Romani Culture Museum in Romania.

"The museum aims to be a source of in-depth knowledge that will contribute to reducing the divisions between the Roma communities and the majority population. At the same time, through the museum's activities, we hope that it will become a space that allows solid debates about topics of interest like prejudices and a center for confronting and reconciling ideas about Roma communities. The museum will include experimental spaces, living books, modern art collections, a documentation center and thematic library, interactive spaces, audio-visual illustrations and space for debates and conferences" - Ciprian Necula in a national newspaper.

Controversies and Criticisms

Considering the popularity he gained, Ciprian Necula faced a wave of criticism, most of which was discriminatory. He, being someone who consistently denounced any political deviation he encountered, was repeatedly targeted by various public figures who did not share his vision.

”Gipsy clans”

Former Romanian President Traian Băsescu, often using the phrase "Gipsy clans" incorrectly, referring to "criminal groups," was corrected by Ciprian Necula during a live intervention on the "Adevărul LIVE" show. Ciprian pointed out that given the definition of "kinship relations in an extended group," even the President himself would be a part of such a clan. In response, the President appeared offended by Ciprian's remarks. Ciprian later offered a more detailed explanation for why the President's manner of addressing the issue was discriminatory during another live television show.

Scientific articles

  • Necula, Ciprian, 2020, Resurgenţa ideologiilor nedemocratice în România contemporană: volum dedicat profesorului Michael Shafir la împlinirea vârstei de 75 de ani, Emanuel Copilaş (coord.). - Timişoara : Editura Universităţii de Vest, pg. 523-549
  • Necula, Ciprian, 2016. Roma Museum in Bucharest, in: Roma Culture: Myths and Realities, Elena Marushiakova and Vesselin Popov (eds.), LINCOM GmbH
  • Necula, Ciprian. 2014. Romii: State Gens Libera, în Egali, diferiți, normali: stereotipuri, reprezentãri și contranarațiuni în lumea romilor din Italia, Spania și România / coord.: Martina Giuffrè ; trad.: Șerban Mihai Georgescu. –București : Paideia, p. 367-397
  • Necula, Ciprian. 2013. Roma handicraft workers over the centuries in Romanian space in The Material Culture (Re)Turn in Anthropology: Promises and Dead-ends, coord. Bogdan Iancu, ed. Humanitas, SASC – Societatea de Antropologie Socială şi Culturală, p. 215-241
  • Necula, Ciprian. 2012. The Cost of Roma Slavery, în Roma Minority-Between Inclusion and Exclusion, Perspective Politice. Vol. 5, Nr. 2.[9]
  • Coord. Chirițoiu, Ana, Ivasiuc, Ana, Necula, Ciprian. 2012. Romano ButiQ. Studiu despre Meșteșugurile Rome. KCMC, Romano ButiQ, Agenția Împreună.
  • Necula, Ciprian. 2004. Governmental and non-governmental mechanism to combat the discrimination in Romania – coord., Media Monitoring Agency


  • Associated professor on ethnicity; masculinity; European funds for Roma; public policies on Roma - SNSPA University, Master programs: Gender and minorities; Roma Studies (Bucharest)
  • Founding member of Romano ButiQ (Romania)
  • Founding member of the Alliance for European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (Berlin)
  • Founding member of the Civic Platform Aresel (Romania)


  1. "Ciprian Necula - Chairman at Roma Education Fund Romania". THE ORG. Retrieved 2023-10-02.
  2. "Arhive Ciprian Necula". Libertatea (in română). 2023-07-03. Retrieved 2023-10-02.
  3. "ciprian necula". RFI România: Actualitate, informaţii, ştiri în direct (in română). Retrieved 2023-10-02.
  4. "Consiliul director". Roma education. 2014-12-22. Retrieved 2023-10-02.
  5. "Bă, de ce ești tu țigan?" - Documentar Nicolae Gheorghe, retrieved 2023-09-24
  6. "Ciprian Necula". Asociația StartEvo - Educație informală prin joacă. Retrieved 2023-10-02.
  7. SNSPA, PR (2022-10-31). "Ciprian Necula". SNSPA. Retrieved 2023-10-02.
  8. "Masteratul de Studii Rome | SNSPA București, Științe Politice, Sociologie, Relații internaționale, Psihologie". Retrieved 2023-09-24.
  9. "Ciprian Necula | National University of Political Studies and Public Administration -". Retrieved 2023-10-02.

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