Romania’s new Government has set up a Ministry of the Family to boost the country’s flagging population. It is led by the former Mayor of Bucharest Gabriela Firea. The proposed policies resemble those implemented in Hungary. Could abortion rights in Romania face further restrictions?

On 23 September 2021, around 2:40 p.m., a man in a suit walked across the stage of the Royal Garden Pavilion in Budapest. He arranged his papers, glanced around the room where politicians and activists from all over the world had gathered for the fourth edition of the Demographic Summit, and talked about the problem of underpopulation in Romania. After lamenting the decline in birth rates in general terms, the man turned to the notes on the paper for a few examples:

In Romania, 528,000 children were born in 1967. I chose 1967 because it was the year in which abortion was legally banned. We had about 314,000 births in 1990, and in 2020 – 178,509 births. (…) These numbers are food for thought. The demographic pyramid has been reversed. We have lost when it comes to population.”

The man in the suit is the President of the leading party of the Hungarian minority in Romania, UDMR (The Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania) and Deputy Prime Minister in the Romanian Government. His name is Hunor Kelemen, and he was instrumental, in the autumn of 2021, in the creation of a new ministerial office in Romania – the Ministry of the Family. 

What did Hunor Kelemen want to convey when he presented Romanian birth statistics from 1967 before a gathering of influential world figures?

Is the choice of a politician to use the demographic consequences of a criminal, repressive policy that produced countless negative effects in Romanian as a positive term of comparison indicative of something?

But his presence at the event, and the subsequent development of the new Ministry in Romania indicates a link between Budapest and Bucharest when it comes to pronatalist policies. Kelemen’s comments also raise fears that this could lead to medical and legal restrictions on a woman’s access to an abortion.

These issues are central to understanding why and how the Ministry of Family – a structure with deep social ambitions – suddenly appeared in Romania.

2021 saw the collapse in Romania of a coalition between the centre-right National Liberal Party (PNL), the progressive centrist Save Romania Union (USR), and the Hungarian Party UDMR, and the reconfiguration of the PNL with the conservative populist Social Democratic Party (PSD), alongside the UDMR.

This diluted the progressive identity of the Government, pushing it into a more traditionalist direction, and paving the way to implement a similar pro-natalist policy to that of Hungary’s conservative Government of Viktor Orban.   

The UDMR took advantage of this opportunity, and, after a series of backstage political moves, introduced ideas formulated in Budapest into Bucharest.

Why do we believe it important to understand these things? Because when politicians want to take the country back to 1967, even for a comparative example, journalism must remind people that it was a place of demographic tragedy, even if masked by rising birth rates. That place is our recent past.

The Decree Chronicles has gathered a team of journalists that have published, over the last three months, articles on topics in the field of reproductive and sexual rights. We wrote about the tragic consequences of a society that bans abortions. Romania still senses the trauma of such a measure. Between 1967 and 1989, more than 10,000 women died after the communist regime banned on-demand abortions.

Romania’s example shows how a ban on abortions not only affects the women who want to terminate their own pregnancies, but also damages the system of maternal care, the child protection system, family planning and people’s sex lives.

All these topics have been investigated by journalists at The Decree Chronicles.

Nevertheless, pro-life messages are also frequently encountered in the speeches of those who advocate for policies aimed at strengthening family and nation by increasing birth rates.

There is a link that is more or less visible between those who propose pronatalist policies and those who argue that abortion is not a right, but a crime, and those who oppose the introduction of sex education in schools.

This is the story of how the Ministry of the Family came to exist – and why we should be interested in its genesis.

The German Model.
Or
the Hungarian One?

The German Model. Or the Hungarian One?

On 5 October 2021, the Romanian Parliament dismissed Prime Minister Florin Cîțu’s Government following a no confidence vote. After the country lurched from crisis to crisis the new coalition formed with PNL (The National Liberal Party) and PSD (The Social Democratic Party) and UDMR. 

On 11 November, after a round of negotiations, UDMR President Hunor Kelemen and PNL First Vice President Rareș Bogdan announced the possibility of creating a new ministry, The Ministry of the Family. On the suggestion of Bogdan, this would follow the model of Poland, where the conservative Law and Justice Party-led Government is currently trying to outlaw all forms of abortion, even in exceptional circumstances.

Appointed to head up the ministry was the Social Democrat Gabriela Firea, the former mayor of Bucharest, one of the most ambitious political figures in the PSD, and a potential candidate for the Presidential elections of 2024.

Photo: ANES

At the hearings of the specialist committees of the Parliament, Firea expressed her regret that part of the public opinion ridiculed the creation of the Ministry of Family. She pointed out how such a Ministry exists in several European countries. As a first example, Firea chose Germany, rather than Hungary or Poland. This could imply that the PNL-PSD-UDMR coalition was following the German model in formulating the objectives of the future ministry.

But Hunor Kelemen had another model in mind. On 29 November, a few days after the inauguration of the coalition government led by Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca, the UDMR president recommended Gabriela Firea to consult with her Hungarian counterpart, Katalin Novák. Here are his words in an interview with the Hungarian publication Krónika

“The Minister [Firea] has accepted our proposals and I am confident that she will implement the relevant public policies and we will help her with that. There will certainly be many consultations and I cannot say now who Gabriela Firea will consult with. If she asks me for advice, I will certainly suggest that she meet with Katalin Novák [the Hungarian Minister Without Portfolio of Family]”

To what UDMR “proposals” accepted by Gabriela Firea was Hunor Kelemen referring? Two events of major relevance in September 2021 give some indications.

One day after the interview offered by Hunor Kelemen, Katalin Novák posted this tweet.

Direct Support from Budapest
for Romania’s Family Policies

Direct Support from Budapest for Romania’s Family Policies

On 17 September 2021, Katalin Novák tweeted: “I have discussed with Prime Minister Florin Cîțu how the family policies proposed by the UDMR could be implemented after the political crisis passes.”

The message was accompanied by a picture of Florin Cîțu and Hunor Kelemen in a relaxed setting. The meeting took place on the occasion of the UDMR Congress, organized under the suggestive slogan Together for family

The PSD and PNL leaders Marcel Ciolacu and Ludovic Orban (who was still President of PNL at the time) also came to Sângeorgiu de Mureș for the UDMR Congress.

Novák’s policies were included in the action plan for the support of the family voted at the UDMR Congress. Among the measures proposed by the Hungarian party are tax cuts for families with more children, tax facilities for the purchase of cars for families with more children, support for the purchase of housing, as well as the possibility for grandparents and adult siblings who do not have a job to receive childcare allowance if they agree to take care of a child while the parents are working.

The proposed measures were aimed at the traditional family consisting of a man, a woman and children. There were no proposals regarding adoption or families made up of persons of the same gender. The focus was especially supportive of large families.

Since 2018, we have supported the families of almost 30,000 Hungarian children, built nurseries and kindergartens. Hungarians in Transylvania can count on us, just as we rely on them, Minister Novák tweeted again at the end of the UDMR Congress.

The UDMR’s statement of support for the Hungarian Minister was not incidental. Some of the pro-family measures proposed by the UDMR were identical to those proposed and implemented in Budapest. Others were inspired by the Hungarian birth management plan implemented under the supervision of Novák.

All these measures found their way among the objectives and measures adopted by the new Ministry of the Family in Bucharest, led by Gabriela Firea.

It makes sense that Hunor Kelemen would suggest that she meet her counterpart, Katalin Novák.

Cash, Cars and Housing Benefits
for Making Kids

Cash, Cars and Housing Benefits for Making Kids

Katalin Novák was appointed Secretary of State for Youth and Family in the Hungarian government in 2014. A year later, Viktor Orbán’s cabinet began implementing the first measures to help couples start a family. The Family Housing Support Program (CSOK) was launched in 2015. The support consists of a grant offered to married couples that varies between 1,700 and 28,000 euros, depending on the number of children.

Couples who applied for the grant and did not produce children  – or did not have them in time – had to repay it. There were deadlines for making babies in order to extend the reimbursement period or to not have to reimburse the money at all (as in the case of families with more than three children).

Divorced couples had to repay the entire amount.

In July 2019, the Orbán government launched the Hungarian action plan for the increase of birth rates. The Budapest cabinet expanded its housing support program and came up with six other measures such as subsidizing the purchase of cars for large families, tax exemptions, 21,000 new places in nurseries, and childcare allowances for grandparents taking care of children.

Photo: Annika Haas / Flickr

In an editorial published in Die Welt, Professor Karl Heinz Hausner compared the policies from the Hungarian action plan with the policies implemented by the Nazis when they took power.

The new Hungarian family policy is strikingly similar to the marriage loan introduced in the German Reich in June 1933, explained Hausner. Women could also benefit from it, provided they had as many children as possible. The loan was reduced by a quarter for each child born during the marriage.

“If you come to Budapest by plane, you will see that the airport is full of signs: A family-friendly country. It’s their way of telling you from the very beginning that Hungary is a conservative country that puts family first,” explains journalist Viktoria Serdült from the Hungarian publication HVG.

The Orbán government wants to be known for the importance it places on the traditional family, Serdült points out.

In this regard, in October 2020 Viktor Orbán appointed Katalin Novák to the specific role of Minister of Family, but without portfolio.

The UDMR female organization president Rozália Biró sent a congratulations letter to Katalina Novák after she was nominated. 

Journalist Fruzsina Előd from Telex explaines Viktor Orbán’s move:

“In Hungary, there is no Ministry of the Family in the classical sense, there is only a Minister for Family Affairs. Katalin Novák was Secretary of State (responsible for family policies) in the Ministry of Human Resources, and when the government decided to put more emphasis on family policy, Orbán promoted her as Minister without Portfolio. But her responsibilities are more or less the same. I think this promotion is more about showing how important family issues are to the government.”

The official website of Katalina Novák presents the Hungarian family policy model, which helps families with financial support, services and a family-friendly approach. By offering grants, we want to make sure that all the children we want can be born, is the message the Minister sends.

The measures initiated in 2015 to support families and increase birth rates continue. Some of them are not only available for couples, but also for single parents. 

The problem with these policies – explains both the Hungarian journalists and sociologist Tamás Kiss – is that they target the middle class and the upper middle class. 

“There are certain elements built into the system that make it easier for rich families to get grants (we are talking about a lot of money, tens of millions of forints). For this reason, many underprivileged families (many of them Roma) cannot really benefit from the government’s consistent financial support for families,” adds Fruzsina Előd.

Some of these measures are aimed exclusively at married couples. As same-sex couples do not have the right to marry, they do not have the right to apply for grants, get tax breaks and other benefits that married heterosexuals can enjoy.

In December 2020, Viktor Orbán’s government ensured, through a legislative amendment, that adoption was no longer an option for same-sex couples. According to the Hungarian constitution, the family is based on marriage and the parent-child relationship; the mother is a woman and the father a man. Under these conditions, same-sex couples can apply for adoption only as single persons, and their application will be verified by the Ministry of Family.

This is Minister Katalin Novák’s sole responsibility in the LGBTQIA area. And the Ministry of the Family in Bucharest is tailored on the same model totally ignoring the idea that same-sex partners can also form a family. 

Copy-Paste Policies

Copy-Paste Policies

Until Autumn 2021, there was no talk on the Romanian political stage about a Ministry of the Family. The Ministry became an option only when the PNL-PSD alliance concluded that there weren’t enough Ministries to share between themselves.

The UDMR’s interest in pro-natalist policies inspired by Viktor Orbán’s government intersected with the PSD’s desire to offer a visible ministry to Gabriela Firea. That’s how the Social Democrat politician became the new Minister of the Family.

Firea had been preparing to lead the Ministry since 3 November, when PSD signed an agreement with the Party of Humanist Power (PPU-SL). The protocol was aimed at developing a national strategy focused on three pillars: increasing the birth rate, increasing the quality of life for all Romanians, and supporting and protecting the elderly.

Photo: PSD

One month later, Grațiela Gavrilescu, an MP from the PPU-SL, told The Decree Chronicles that the political partnership was working on joint projects. We tried to get answers from Minister Gabriela Firea about the strategy. We wanted to find out what her sources of inspiration were for drafting the proposals and objectives of her Ministry. Our investigation indicates that the Romanian Ministry of Family is tailored to the Hungarian model, instead of the German example mentioned by Firea in Parliament. By the time we published, we received no answers from the PSD politician.

According to the government program, Romania’s Ministry of the Family proposes the same policies enacted in Budapest. On the family side, 75% of Gabriela Firea’s proposals are either copy-pasted from the pro-natalist measures coordinated by Katalin Novák or inspired by them. Some examples: financing family purchases of seven-seater cars, enabling grandparents who raise children to receive child raising benefits, and support for the purchase or renovation of homes for families.

The measures proposed by Firea’s ministry include fiscal facilities, vouchers and credits aimed at members of traditional families

For example: a state-subsidized housing program for the purchase of housing for young families, taking into account the number of children as a scoring criterion; the gradual reduction of the amount of health care contributions (CASS), depending on the number of dependent children, with a total exemption for those who have at least three dependent children; giving local authorities the opportunity to support families with dependent children through tax cuts/exemptions.

None of the measures are based on any study, research or documentation by an independent commission. The sole basis for creating regulation in an essential field is Gabriela Firea’s views that seem to have been influenced by UDMR, whose demographic policies are shaped by the ideas of Katalin Novák and Viktor Orban’s Government. 

Consequently, the program of the Romanian Ministry of Family does not say anything about civil partnership, which would be a step ahead for the administrative recognition of families with same-sex partners. At the moment, these families are invisible to the Romanian state.

Novák: President of Global Network
that Does Not Consider
Abortion a Right

Novák: President of Global Network that Does Not Consider Abortion a Right

The Hungarian birth management plan for 2019 was announced by Katalin Novák at a transatlantic summit held in Colombia in April 2019. At the same summitwas a panel on the right to life led by Paola Holguín, a Colombian politician known for her anti-abortion positions. Holguin opposes the decriminalization of abortion in Colombia and believes that abortion is not a woman’s right.

The Transatlantic Summit has taken place since 2014, organised by the international movement, the Political Network for Values, consisting of representatives from 30 countries from Africa, North and South America and Europe. The president of this organization is Katalin Novák. Its official “decalogue” of values include the following:

>> The defence of life should begin from the moment of conception, when the human being is at its most vulnerable and defenceless. Destruction of human embryos, cloning, genetic manipulation and surrogacy are practices that must be rejected.

>> Marriage is an institution between a man and a woman.

>> Euthanasia and abortion cannot be considered rights.

On Twitter, The Political Network for Values welcomed in January 2021 the constitutional reform in Honduras that made any future attempt to legalize abortion virtually impossible. In Honduras, abortion is prohibited under any circumstances, even in cases of rape or congenital malformations of the foetus.

The same organization applauded the Mexican government in March 2021 for “not giving in to feminist pressure”, by rejecting the decriminalization of abortion.

The Transatlantic Summit of The Political Network for Values ​also drew in a number of conservative figures and groups known for their opposition to the introduction of sex education in schools. One such group is the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM). The leader of this movement is Leo van Doesburg, who began breakfast prayer meetings in the Romanian Parliament. These events brings together all the MPs who militate against sex education.

In 2021, the Political Network for Values ​​affirmed its anti-abortion position in the context of the European Parliament’s adoption of the Matic Report, on access to health and sex education for women and sexual minorities. Katalina Novák’s organization has argued that abortion is not one of the principles of the European Union, and that it violates the fundamental rights to life and freedom of conscience. In this context, the Network called on MEPs to reject the report.

The Budapest Demographic Summit, attended in September by UDMR leader Hunor Kelemen, was also  organized by The Political Network for Values. This is a forum where conservative groups can liaise and organize.

Balkan Insight described the event as a gathering of nationalist, populist, pro-birth and anti-immigration figures. The special guest of this 4th edition was former US Vice President  Mike Pence, who drew attention in his speech to the erosion of the family through low marriage rate, an increase in divorces and abortions, and reduced birth rates.

Viktor Orbán’s Power Games

Viktor Orbán’s Power Games

The links between the UDMR and Viktor Orbán’s government are not limited to the presence of Minister of Family Katalin Novák at the UDMR Congress or the presence of Hunor Kelemen at the Demographic Summit in Budapest.

Photo: Raul Ștef / Inquam Photos

Sociologist Tamás Kiss, from the Institute for the Study of National Minorities in Cluj, claims that the UDMR has a long-term interest in the demography of the Hungarian minority in Romania. The decline of the Hungarian population is regarded as a tragedy. In this context, the sociologist points out, these demographic discourses are very well anchored culturally and historically in the Hungarian cultural sphere.

At the same time, Kiss says, the UDMR is ideologically influenced by what is happening in Hungary. For the UDMR, not only family policies are a model, but the ideology of Viktor Orbán as a whole.

However, Tamás Kiss is not convinced that the Hungarian population in Romania will enjoy the kind of measures implemented in Budapest. Why? Because the Hungarian population in Romania is under-represented among the middle class, says the sociologist. And the pronatalist measures are aimed at the middle class.

What connects UDMR to the Hungarian government is not only ideological influence, but also financial dependence.

“At first, FIDESZ tried to marginalize the UDMR, but after it became clear that the party could not be replaced, it pushed the UDMR into a loyalty competition,” wrote Átlátszó Erdély in March 2021 in an analysis of how the relations between UDMR, FIDESZ and the Viktor Orban government have evolved. “The relations have gone from [resembling a] Cold War to being so tight, that today the Hungarian government has an unprecedented influence in Transylvania.” The analysis in this article also includes an inventory of the amounts of money received by foundations close to the UDMR from their neighbours in Hungary. We are talking about tens of millions of euros.

Viktor Orban’s investment in UDMR and the Hungarian community is explained by a simple fact: Romania is one of the countries with the largest Hungarian population. As Orban has given the Hungarian diaspora the opportunity to vote in parliamentary elections, votes for FIDESZ from Romania-based Hungarians are an important support base to help the party retain power.

Novák: Abortion is Not a Choice

Novák: Abortion is Not a Choice

HVG journalist Viktoria Serdült told The Decree Chronicles that every time she asked the Minister of Family Katalin Novák if abortion will be banned in Hungary, the Minister has denied it categorically.

Nevertheless, the FIDESZ politician is part of organizations that are vocal on anti-abortion issues, she opens events where the speakers are politicians who are against the decriminalization of abortion in their home countries, and she sympathizes with causes that she considers pro-life.

This attitude of the Hungarian Minister of Family is not unique. In recent years, the global anti-abortion discourse has been cosmeticized and retouched. Anti-abortion marches have become pro-life marches, including in Romania. The speech is no longer strictly against abortion, but about making abortion harder to access, such as through the need for women to ask for information or counselling, or to go to a commission, in a process which aims to persuade the women to give up the idea of an abortion.

In an interview from 2019 with the American publication Breitbart, Katalina Novák, then Secretary of State for Family, said:

“There is no choice. If you already have a child inside you, what you do from that point on is no longer about choice. That is not the moment to choose. The choice has been made before that. Pro-abortion is pro-killing; it is against choice. Abortion does not mean freedom. This is not about women’s freedom. This is a deliberate distortion of what is happening.”

We asked two Hungarian journalists to explain how Novák can make a public statement to Breitbart calling pro-abortion “pro-killing”, while at the same time claiming there will be no ban on abortion in Hungary.  

Fruzsina Előd believes that this is a strategy often used by FIDESZ (the party led by Viktor Orbán) to reach various groups with its political message. There are many things, says the journalist, that their most conservative supporters would agree with, such as banning abortions, but their goal is to win support from the majority of society. And most Hungarians do not support a ban on abortions, Előd said.

At the same time, FIDESZ needs to convey to more conservative supporters that it maintains its values. And not only that they maintain them, but that they also affirm them in international events, such as those organised by the Political Network of Values.

The Hungarian prime minister’s message at the Demographic Summit was that the purpose of his government is to make Hungary a family friendly country. 

Both Fruzsina Előd and Viktoria Serdült believe this anti-abortion discourse  will not turn into anti-abortion legislation. Instead Novák’s appreciation for countries with such policies is part of the need of the party and of the Viktor Orbán government to assert itself on the ultra-conservative stage.

The Decree Chronicles contacted Hunor Kelemen to ask him a few questions about his speech at the Demographic Summit in September. This speech can easily leave the impression that the President of UDMR considers the ban on abortion a possible measure to increase the birth rate. He texted us that he left no room for such an interpretation.

We sent him the videotaped statement and asked him how he sees the ban on abortions and whether he believes that a hospital that refuses to perform abortions on request violates the rights of applicants.

I do not agree with the ban on abortion either by law or by any other normative act,” the UDMR president said “I have not heard of any hospital in the country where on-demand abortion was refused. If it happened, it is an abuse.”

At The Decree Chronicles we wrote about hospitals that refuse to terminate pregnancies. It was the first article of our journalistic series. The subject has been in the press for at least two years. There are dozens of public hospitals in Romania that refuse to perform on-demand abortions. But the President of the UDMR, Deputy Prime Minister in the Romanian Government, claims that the subject is completely unknown to him.

At the hearing in Parliament on 24 November, Gabriela Firea was asked if her new ministry would consider banning abortion as a measure to increase birth rates. The PSD politician declared that she would fight for women’s right to decide. However, she insisted on the need for counselling – and mentioned the possibility for a woman (“if she is a believer”) to make the final decision after discussing with a priest.

By adopting this position on the topic of abortions, Gabriela Firea won the sympathy of a different group of voters than the one to whom she was telling, not long ago, that family means a heterosexual married couple with children.

During the same hearing, Gabriela Firea was asked about the opportunity to introduce sex education in schools. Firea said she was for informing students in health education classes, but only with the consent of the parents.

Firea: “Being a Proper Family
Means Having Children”

Firea: “Being a Proper Family Means Having Children”

“The family is our connection to the past and the bridge to the future,” said Gabriela Firea in 2018, around the time of the referendum organized by the Coalition for Family, which called for the Romanian constitution to change its phrasing of marriage from “between two spouses” to “between a man and a woman”.

“For me, marriage means a communion based on love and respect between a woman and a man. I will say ‘yes’ to the referendum,” said the Social Democrat.

The referendum did not pass because not enough voters turned up to express their opinion.

Firea’s vision about family is further explained in an older statement made during the presidential election campaign in 2014.

“From my point of view, being a proper family means not only being married, but also having children… You are not complete if you are not raising a child (…) [PSD Presidential candidate] Victor Ponta is a good family man, he is married, he has a son, Andrei, and a little girl, Irina, and I am convinced that Daciana [the wife of Victor Ponta] and Victor want some more children and as a mother of three, I wish them to have more.”

Photo: George Călin / Inquam Photos

The new Minister of the Family’s definition of family is limited and discriminatory, compared to the defiiniton by the German ministry that Firea herself holds up as a model for the Government department she now heads.

According to the German ministry: “modern family policy means respecting the various family constellations chosen by people. This includes married and unmarried couples with children, as well as single-parent families, step-families, mixed families, rainbow families and families providing care to dependent family members.”

The government program of the current Ciucă Government shows that the Romanian Ministry of the Family, which resembles the Hungarian model, at no point seeks to respect the various family constellations chosen by people.

An Uncertain Future

An Uncertain Future

An emblematic image is mentioned in a recent article on Viktor Orbán and the decline of democracy in Hungary, published by the German weekly news magazine Der Spiegel. Several mobilizing lines are inscribed on a metal plate at the official residence of the Hungarian Prime Minister. One of the slogans is: “Every Hungarian child is another Sentry.” Another one is: “Only the country has borders, the nation does not.” 

The two slogans perfectly describe the atmosphere of the besieged fortress in Budapest. They describe both the Hungarian government’s obsession with birth rates and Orbán’s vision of the nation. The Prime Minister of Hungary is also counting on the votes of the Hungarian community in Romania in the parliamentary election in the spring of 2022 to keep him in power.

There is little doubt that he will get them, given the privileged relationship between the UDMR and FIDESZ. It is a link from which not only Orbán stands to win, but also Hunor Kelemen’s party, which helped the birth of a new ministry in Bucharest; a ministry that is important for the Hungarian ideological constellation, focused on increasing the birth rate (almost) by any means.

In Bucharest, the Ministry of the Family is currently an office in the Government building and a huge PR exercise for Gabriela Firea. The government program is promising: the PSD politician will have a ministry with consistent funding, giving her a platform that could help position her as a future President of Romania.

So far Viktor Orbán, Hunor Kelemen and Gabriela Firea seem to be the winners of the underground political moves which resulted in the creation of the Ministry of the Family in Bucharest.

In the medium and long term, the ones who stand to lose are the various family constellations chosen by people.

As for the women’s right to decide freely about their pregnancies, no bet is a safe bet.


About the authors


Authors

  • Jurnalistă la Dela0.ro și membră a colectivului Să fie lumină. A debutat în presa TV, dar din 2014 lucrează în media alternativă.

  • Co-fondator al publicației Dela0.ro și editor coordonator al proiectului de investigații Să fie lumină. În presa alternativă din 2011.