Essex grad turned Romanian politician in final of prestigious British Council award

  • Date

    Mon 10 Jun 24

Simina Tulbure standing outside the Romanian Parliament

An English Language graduate from Essex who is providing a voice for young females in the Romanian Parliament has been recognised by the British Council after being shortlisted for a prestigious Study UK Alumni Award.

Simina Tulbure, a Member of Parliament at Romania’s Chamber of Deputies, is one of 28 finalists in the running to win the Social Action Award, which recognises alumni who have made an exceptional contribution and commitment to creating positive social change and improving the lives of others.

Simina graduated with a BA in English Language in 2014 and then completed an MA in English Language and Literature the following year.

“During my time at Essex, I discovered my potential, and it empowered me to find my identity and amplify my voice,” she said.

“I’m a proud Essex alumna and being a finalist compliments my younger self's desire to escape contextual limits in the quest for enlarged horizons.”

Simina worked at several European institutions before being elected to parliament in December 2020.

Her motivation to join politics was driven by the lack of attention on issues she cared about deeply and the low representation of young women in political, decision-making positions. Her goal was to become a strong voice committed to representing young people and women.

Now the Vice President of the Renew the European Project of Romania (REPER) party, she represents Romanians living abroad, leads the Parliamentary Friendship Group with the UK, and is a member of the committees dedicated to the Romanian diaspora, educational and Romania’s accession to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and she is the first woman to ever represent the Romanian diaspora in Parliament.

As an MP, Simina has impacted thousands of citizens in Romania and in the diaspora.

Her work in parliament has helped to pass several impactful policies including the reintegration of pupils previously schooled abroad, mandatory education on ethics for European citizenship, developing community centres for Romanians living abroad, and enhancing support for seasonal workers.

Her current priorities focus on reforming the anti-human trafficking national framework, enhancing young girls' development opportunities, guaranteeing safe abortion procedures, and the digitalisation of identity cards.

When elected as an MP, Simina was also keen to use her role to continue strengthening Romania’s political relationship with the UK and became President of the All-Party Parliamentary Friendship Group with the United Kingdom, a position usually offered to senior political officials.

In this position, she co-led the parliamentary dialogue with the United Kingdom to renew their bilateral Strategic Partnership.

Simina has also worked alongside British MPs and government leaders to improve policies in areas including human trafficking, education, security and transatlantic affairs.

She’s maintained a close relationship with the Romanian community in the UK, which is made up of more than one million people, and organises regular projects and conferences with universities and civil society organisations from both countries.

Alongside her parliamentary work, she was selected as one of 26 Vital Voices Engage programme, a fully funded fellowship supporting exceptional women political leaders shaping and influencing policy worldwide, and the only one selected from Central and Eastern Europe.

Her early success in politics has seen her listed among the top three most consequential parliamentarians for sectorial legislation by the leading educational think tank in Romania and named Ambassador of Youth's Political Participation by the Romanian Youth Council.

Winners of the Study UK Alumni Awards will be announced towards the end of the summer.