Tanja Bueltmann is a citizens’ rights campaigner and founder of EU Citizens’ Champion.
An EU citizen herself, Tanja, like the 3.6 million EU citizens who made the UK their home, is immediately affected by Brexit and by the upheavals it has brought – for both EU citizens in the UK, and Britons who live in other EU countries. For her, for all 5 million people immediately caught up in Brexit, it is intensely personal.
Forced to apply to stay in our own home? Shameful doesn’t get more shameful than that.
While Tanja continues to campaign for the safeguarding of citizens’ rights in the way promised by Vote Leave, the Prime Minister and the EU, she recognises the importance of working with the provisions set out in the Withdrawal Agreement: if Brexit goes ahead, the agreements reached therein are problematic in many ways, but they do provide some certainty that is desperately needed. That is why Tanja supports the future plans of the3million that centre on outreach for EU citizens to ensure all are well-informed about settled status, and monitoring the Home Office.
Tanja wanted to do more to support the3million because it is not acceptable that much of their work is still carried primarily through volunteered time. That is how the idea for the #EUcitizensChampion campaign was born. EU citizens need further support to ensure their rights are protected. They need champions to help with that. And the3million need funds to keep doing their amazing work. Tanja is not formally involved with the3million, but recognizes the group’s crucial role as the leading not for profit organisation formed after the EU referendum to protect the lives of EU citizens who made the UK their home.
To learn more about why Tanja founded this campaign, read her article ‘You’re safe here … until you’re not’: EU citizens in the UK are fighting for their rights.
Campaigning is only one part of Tanja’s story, however. In ‘normal’ life she is a Professor of History, with a specific focus on diaspora and migration history, at Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne. So in professional terms too Tanja has an interest in Brexit.
Articles and interviews
“Com o Brexit a UE mostrou que ser cidadão europeu significa nada”, Diario de Noticias, 11 May 2019
Gekommen, um zu bleiben, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, 21 April 2019
Die Angst, zum einfachen Ausländer degradiert zu werden, Die Welt, 7 April 2019
“Dass wir EU-Bürger so unter die Räder kommen, habe ich nicht erwartet”, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, 15 December 2017
You can follow Tanja on Twitter @cliodiaspora