Cum-necum, au trecut ZECE ani peste Funky Citizens, zece ani de când cerem transparență, integritate și, dacă a mai rămas pe undeva prin fundul sacului, și competență de la aleșii noștri. Rațiunea noastră de a fi a rămas neschimbată: tot vrem să convingem românii că merită să fie cetățeni activi, care să își cunoască și să-și ceară drepturile. De aceea facem educație civică și punem lupa atent pe instituții și situații care amenință statul de drept. Ne uităm cu un ochi în spate, la anul care ne-a provocat să facem lucruri noi (ajutor umanitar) și planificăm anul 2023 ca o antecameră pentru 2024, în care vom avea patru runde de alegeri. De asemenea, proiectele noastre editoriale au crescut: Factual este acum third-party-fact-checker pentru platformele Facebook și Instagram iar pe jurnaliștii de la Buletin de București îi puteți urmări și într-un newsletter săptămânal.

Anul acesta echipa noastră s-a mărit semnificativ. Le-am urat „bun venit” în echipă Dianei Tăbleț, care va deveni un mic wizard al bugetelor și Anei Mocanu care ne ajută cu management de proiect și logistică pentru multele proiecte și evenimente pe care am ajuns să le organizăm.


In the field of work

In 2021, we got vaccinated and specialised in online events. We met less often at the main office in Colivia, but we doomscrolled daily because we had a lot of news to pick from: the fires in the old hospitals, which are saturated with oxygen, the accelerated spread of fake news and the extreme societal division when it comes to vaccination. Besides this, we carefully followed the irresponsible political crisis last autumn, alongside the eternal nonsensical way in which politicians behave regardless of the season. The sociologist Barbu Mateescu wrote an article in retrospect of 2021, here

At the beginning of 2022, it is not really easy for us to be the ‘on-call’ optimists. Even so, our heart grows when we meet new people, either in workshops, partnerships or even within our team. In this regard, we welcome Ana Dragomir, who will help with the research and communication sectors. So, we are entering 2022 with the hope that we are not the only ones who are still determined and eager to stay here and to make a difference. We are also thinking about the 2024 elections, when four rounds of elections (European Parliament, local, parliamentary and presidential) will be taking place in the course of one year. 


This year we replaced face-to-face meetings with weekly Zoom sessions.

We adapted to change in 2020 but we stayed close to the civically fit citizens, implementing new projects. We urged the authorities to better manage the pandemic and be more transparent. We launched the "De Garda" application, an application that can report anonymously and safely the irregularities in Romanian hospitals that will be integrated into the advocacy strategy or sent to journalists who are our investigating partners. We also continued working on civic education, creating, with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, 25 weekly episodes to debunk fake news and teach the public to become immune to it during the pandemic.

The Countering Corruption in Maternity Care project, in partnership with K-Monitor, has been implemented through an online platform "Atenție la naștere" (Birth Bribe) where mothers can tell us about the experience of giving birth in maternity wards and where one can find useful information about the rights that new parents enjoy.

During the pandemic, we explained what the state of emergency means and what rights could be restricted and we decreed a state of decency. We asked the authorities to be transparent about how the population is being tested and we helped our friends from the research lab raise money for MUV Steriliser, the autonomous robot that sterilizes hospital halls and wards on its own. 

Our activity was not focused only on the pandemic. We continued explaining complicated topics such as assumption of responsibility by the Government before Parliament. We contributed to the Open Budget Partnership study and the Rule of Law Report, and defended the right to access to public information. 


The team in 2019: Ion Mateș, Laura Burtan, Alis Socea, Anabella Costache, Andrei Bulearcă, Cosmin Pojoranu, Elena Calistru and Radu Caragea.
Photo by Catalin Georgescu for back cover of Decât o Revistă #35

2019 was the year in which we launched more projects than in previous years, mostly in the field of ​​civic education - because we cannot change the system if we do not understand how it works. On the 30th anniversary of the Revolution, we launched projects about communism: 80east - civic education project, MuzeulComunismului.ro (Communist Museum) and we launched the Civic Caravan reaching 20 cities with Funky Constitutions. Dezaburit was the most popular project that year and we launched Buletin de București (Bucharest Bulletin) with the help of a grant from Google, a journalism editorial project where we investigate various issues of Bucharest. The VotnuTroc (VoteNotTrade) platform was created for the presidential elections and helped us to urge people to come to the Electoral Trade Gallery.

We joined European partners, co-organizing the Free Your Ideas conference. We became involved in ReCoRD - Reducing Corruption Risks with Data, and analyzed the existence of corruption in our lives from birth in the Countering Corruption in Maternity Care project, together with K-Monitor from Hungary.


It was another busy year, both in the fields where we had established ourselves and with the help of more informal methods, protesting with dissatisfied citizens. We published over a hundred fack-checks on Factual. We analyzed and explained the changes in the justice laws as well as the penal codes and we published a lot of detailed analyzes. In addition, that year we launched The Governometer project, in which we carefully monitored the governing process. We also won prizes, taking the first place for civic education at the Civil Society Gala, and Elena was awarded the International Women of Courage prize.


We were trembling with the cold in the streets together with all the people upset by OUG 13. We were already making the famous Funky Constitution. We had quick reactions, as usual, and translated techniques such as changes to the justice laws into a simple language. Moreover, we did a series of legathons with law specialists. Factual produced the Governometer and over 100 fact-checks that reached almost 5 million Facebook users. We tried to enter the Bucharest City Hall, but it caused a scandal. We made the album "PROTEST", along with Documentaria.ro and organized the CivicOn festival along with the newly formed Forum Apulum. 

We start to receive awards:

We're featured in Al Jazeera, Washington Times, El Pais, Foreign Policy. We also appeared on Antena 3, without our will, in fake news, as agents in the "Soros network". 

There are changes to the team - Codru and Daniel left, Cristina came so that Cosmin was no longer alone in the communication department.


We’re growing! It's the year when: 

  • We realize that we need to take it a little further from the grassroots with civic involvement and spell out some basic concepts. So we made the first (and our only) civic education camp.
  • Factual grows in notoriety and tests new editorial formulas. 
  • We consolidate our position as specialists in budgets (we ask for the eternal debate, we do analyses, but also trainings). 
  • We enroll hundreds of independent observers as part of the FieceareVot (Every Vote) coalition. We enter the TransparenCEE community. Elena participates in TEDx-Cluj.
  • We do various events at Colivia, including a Night of Houses (Noaptea Caselor) where we were visited by over 1000 people. 


The Night of Houses at Colivia

March > We moved to the headquarters at Colivia, after we became friends with Daniel Vrăbioiu, our first contributor on PayPal. For the sake of transparency and diversity, we are starting to have small and big events in that space. 

We earn our first money in the economic circuit, thanks to the expertise in public money that allows us to make two analyses for Save the Children, and ArCuB (about the financing of culture, on the occasion of drawing up the Cultural Strategy of Bucharest).

We stick with the technicalities (budget analysis, advocacy on transparency and anti-GEOs in vain, launching PiațaDeȘpagă.ro, Participacity), but we also start with more hip issues: we go to Street Delivery with stickers with MariCorupți, we do a cooking show on budgets and guided tours about public money, with buses full of funky citizens from Cluj-Napoca, Bucharest and Iași. 

We scream out (in vain) about the need for local elections in two rounds, but also about voting by mail. We go to the consultations in Cotroceni with the civil society, after the fall of the Ponta government, post-Collective. 


We lend a helping hand to the electoral hotline organized by Expert Forum on the occasion of the European elections. We continue with the geeks and technicalities, the ones that matter:

  • We become part of the Open Data Coalition
  • We nitpick the Capital budget and the state budget
  • We have long conversations with the European Commission and make proposals on MCV
  • We make proposals for the Development Strategy of the judicial system 2015 - 2020
  • We demand the introduction of "Open Contracting" in the OGP Action Plan

May 10th > Factual.ro is launched through a checkathon, after a year and a bit of intense baking of the fact-checking methodology.

September 17th > we launch the OnorataInstanta.ro (Your Honnor) portal

The "Politics without Barriers" coalition begins, in which we are basic members. We demand the liberalisation of the establishment of new parties and we manage, in the following years, to change the electoral laws.

November 17th > we are outraged at the voting queue in the diaspora and do not know how to be useful. We get the idea to quickly put together a model form of criminal complaint on the site. We use a Google Doc directly, which crashes Google's servers because of too many hits.

December 1st > we appear in prime time on PRO TV, our likes are increasing 10 times on Facebook, we jump from 1000 fans to 10,000.


A busy year for the formal membership of the association: Funky accepts new members, of which only a few remain long-term members of the core team. The end of the year is reserved for the #unitisalvam protests, which will open the way for other civic protests. We are starting to take part in more and more niche events, in the country and abroad.


The 2012 team: Alina Calistru, Livia Jelea, Cosmin Pojoranu and Elena Calistru

Throughout the year, Funky Citizens 

  • Appears sporadically in the press (including the international one, on the Belgian television RTL) on the topic of spending public money and anti-corruption. 
  • Becomes part of the Consultative Committee with civil society for the implementation of the National Anticorruption Strategy 
  • Takes part in the elaboration and monitoring of the implementation of the Romanian Action Plan within the Open Government Partnership

May 22nd > Funky Citizens is formally established, thanks to the Individual Development Grants of the School for Leaders Association, Poland.

Mai 23rd > We launch "Bani Pierduți" (Lost Money) in the presence of Canadian Ambassador Philippe Beaulne and Deputy Chief of US Diplomatic Mission Duane Butcher.

December 9th > We launch Funky Citizens through an event at Carol 53, with the occasion of the International Anticorruption Day. We watch human rights movies, drink mulled wine and comment on the results of the parliamentary elections.


In November, Elena Calistru's "Where's my lei, man" project wins the Romania Restart Gala, organized by Techsoup Romania. In the final, she meets Cosmin Pojoranu, copywriter at the advertising agency Headvertising at that time. The name of the project was changed to "Bani Pierduți" (Lost Money) and then it turned into the BaniPublici.ro platform.