MINELRES: Romania: Bulletin DIVERS on Ethnic Minorities - 18 (146)/2005

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Divers Bulletin no. 18 (146) / May 16, 2005

News
LAW DRAFT ON THE MINORITIES TO ENTER UNDER PUBLIC DEBATE
WEEK OF ETHNIC DIVERSITY FESTIVAL IN ROMANIA
CONGRESS OF THE FEDERAL UNION OF ETHNIC COMMUNITIES IN EUROPE
NEW EDITION OF JOB BOURSES FOR ETHNIC ROMA
COVASNA HUNGARIANS ASK FOR CLARIFICATIONS
HOLOCAUST COMMEMORATION IN TIRGU MURES
GOVERNMENT TO RESTORE RIGHTS FOR GERMAN COMMUNITY
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News

LAW DRAFT ON THE MINORITIES TO ENTER UNDER PUBLIC DEBATE

BUCHAREST – The law draft on the national minorities will enter under
public debate, after having been enacted by the Government, stated on
May 9 Premier Calin Popescu Tariceanu.
He reminded the document has already been debated in a first lecture, at
the level of the Executive. “Instead of hurrying into submitting a draft
that is going to be criticized, I prefer submitting a document with a
wider support”, stated Tariceanu.
The Premier also said that from the point of view of the governmental
coalition, the law draft is complying with Romania’s European commitment
to solve the problems of the minorities in a modern way.
At end-February, Hungarian Democratic Alliance in Romania (UDMR)
announced its intention to submit into the Parliament, in April, a law
draft on the national minorities, aiming at regulating the statute of
the minorities and at settling the adequate juridical framework to get
the cultural autonomy, but this draft was subsequently submitted the
Executive. 
UDMR chairman Marko Bela stated at that time, during a press conference
in Cluj, the new legislative draft will regulate the statute of the
historic and traditional national minorities as well as the right of
their organizations to take part in the elections. According to him, the
most important chapter of the future law is that concerning the
establishment of the juridical framework on the cultural autonomy.
On April 21, the Government decided to ask the Venice Commission and the
High Commissariat for National Minorities with OSCE to state its opinion
as regards the law draft on the national minorities. Altogether, the law
draft will be enacted by the Executive and sent for debate in the
Parliament, informs the release of the Executive on this issue.
The Venice Commission (department functioning along the Council of
Europe) is analyzing the law draft, in that respect that if the
stipulations meet the European norms in the field it gives a
consultative authorization. 
Author: DIVERS

WEEK OF ETHNIC DIVERSITY FESTIVAL IN ROMANIA

BUCHAREST – Within the Community Action Program to Fight Discrimination,
the Department for Inter-ethnic Relations organized the “Week of
Diversity in Romania”, event that included debates, book launching and
the organization of a festival and fair of the national minorities.
For a week, at the Romanian Villager Museum, the 19 minorities in
Romania organized shows with assemblies keeping the tradition and
culture in the most unaltered form, including Bulgarians in commune
Dudestii Vechi, Serbians in commune Clisura Dunarii, Croats in Carasova,
Czechs in Garnic, Polish in North Bucovina, Ruthenians in Maramures and
Lippova Russians near Braila.
The manifest included songs, dancing, gastronomic presentation of 19
ethnics as well as exhibitions of the artisans Saxons, Jewish, Greek,
Armenians, Croatians, Slovaks and Ruthenians.
On Monday, May 9, on Europe’s Day, there were launched the volumes
“Romania –miniature Europe. Brief presentation of the minorities in
Romania”, “The fight against the discrimination in Romania. The legal
framework. Decisions of the Managing Board of the National Council to
Fight Discrimination” and “Public polices for ethnic Roma in Romania
2000-2005”. 
Another manifest within the Diversity Week was the seminar on “Miracle
of diversity – an asset of future Europe", which was attended by
representatives of National Commission for Combating Discrimination
(CNCD), of the organizations of the national minorities, of other
interested NGOs.
The Week of Diversity was organized by the Government of Romania,
European Commission – Department for Inter-ethnic Relations, Romanian
Villager’s Museum, Ministry of Culture and Cults and the Prefecture of
Bucharest County Seat. 
Author: DIVERS

CONGRESS OF THE FEDERAL UNION OF ETHNIC COMMUNITIES IN EUROPE

BUCHAREST – On May 5, Bucharest hosted the opening of the 50th Congress
of the Federal Union of the Ethnic Communities in Europe, FUEN. The
organization was established at the beginning of the ‘50s, at the border
between Germany and Denmark, aiming to defend and support the non-state
ethnic communities. According to the chairperson of this organization,
Romedi Arquint, many of the regulations of the Council of Europe as
regards the minorities based upon documents drawn up by the Union.
The people who took part in FUEN Congress talked about the toughening of
the rights of the European minorities and about the juridical
enforcement of the minorities’ rights. The idea of multi-ethnicity is
not a danger for anybody but it is only an enrichment of the European
idea, stated in the opening of the works of the Congress the chairperson
Romedi Arquint.
Arquint was hopeful that FUEN efforts would render the countries in
Central and Eastern Europe – with tradition and ethnicity – study more
carefully this issue. Within this context, he saluted the initiative of
Italy and Hungary by means of which it was managed the stipulation in
the Constitution of the European Union of the term of "national
minority".
Fuen chairperson also stressed out that since the beginning, the
organization fought for the observance of the personal and collective
identity of all the minorities, so that the state "is not a monopoly
administrator of any ethnics".
Romedi Arquint stressed out that Romania – "an old European country, on
the track to the European community" – was not randomly chosen for the
deployment of the 50th congress of FUEN. "Honorable citizens of Romania,
no matter the ethnic appurtenance, please consider this as a sign of the
gratitude of your efforts, as a sign of friendship to support the
process of European accession", stated FUEN chairman.
On the other hand, Arquint chairperson was not too pleased of mirroring
the national right within the European legislation. 
When talking about the European Constitution, Romedi Arquint stated
"this document includes only one article regarding the national
minorities, without juridical or legislative consequences, which
emphasized a solution has not been found yet for the rights of the
minorities and each country can formulate its own policy in the field.
For example, France can keep the non-acceptance policy of the national
minorities and Greece the nationalist one, as always.
This can raise problems as the new members were required to change the
legislation in the field of the minorities, but the countries that most
recently acceded to the EU such as Hungary or Slovakia can do a lot of
things to change the model of nationalist state and get closer to a
pattern granting the same rights to all the inhabitants, no matter the
nationality.
Our organization can just try to pressure other countries that do not
have an adequate policy in the field, as well as the Council of Europe
and other European departments and on the other hand, can develop the
idea of European multi-cultural riches and can encourage the dialogue
between the majority and minority communities”, also said FUEN chairman.
Author: DIVERS

NEW EDITION OF JOB BOURSES FOR ETHNIC ROMA

BUCHAREST – National Agency for Labor Force Employment (ANOFM) organized
on Friday, May 13, the third edition of the Ethnic Roma Job Bourse. On
this occasion, 4,287 jobs are offered and the bourse is due to take
place in 66 counties and local agencies for labor force employment,
especially where high number of ethnic Roma unemployed people is
registered.
"Within the organization of the bourse, we asked and received support
from the ethnic Roma organizations as well as from the councilors on
ethnic Roma problems along the public local authorities. Through the
bourse organization, we try to support the persons who belong to a
disadvantaged social group on the labor market, namely ethnic Roma
persons. The group is disadvantaged but these people have been proving
their assets in time ", stated Silviu Bian, secretary of state in
Ministry of Labor, Social Solidarity and Family and the chairman of the
National Labor Force Employment Agency.
Countrywide, 389 economic operators announced the participation of the
job bourse. Out of all the jobs, 127 are addressed to the high training
persons. Most of the jobs are offered in Bucharest county seat (1.323)
and in counties Vilcea (284), Buzau (280), Cluj (200), Iasi (178) etc.
The main activity fields are: constructions (1.540), industry of
ready-made clothes, fur and leather (399), agriculture and connected
services (243), textile and textile products industry (216), industry of
metallic constructions and of metallic products (178), other services
activities (144) etc. 
Author: DIVERS

COVASNA HUNGARIANS ASK FOR CLARIFICATIONS

COVASNA – The Hungarian Civic Union in Covasna county asked the
government to give a detailed report on how the money collected from
road taxes in the county had been spent.
The head of the Union, Gazda Zoltan, has said that the people have the
right to know how the money they paid to the state was used over the
years. He said the people of the county don't want the money they pay as
road tax to be used for street repairs in other counties. "We can
compare the state of the roads in Covasna with other regions in the
country and the conclusion is that the government is deliberately
against the county's development," said Gazda.
Author: DIVERS

HOLOCAUST COMMEMORATION IN TIRGU MURES

TIRGU MURES - Dozens of people commemorated 61 years since the beginning
of the Holocaust in Mures County in the Tirgu Mures synagogue, in the
presence of former President Emil Constantinescu and several local
officials.
More than 10,000 Jews from several towns in Mures and Hargita counties
were forced into the ghettoes built in Tirgu Mures and Reghin between
May 6 and 22, 1944, according to Professor Vasile Dub, who opened the
ceremony yesterday. From the ghettoes, they were transferred to
Auschwitz, the professor added. There are currently 30 Jews still living
in Tirgu Mures who lived through the Holocaust.
The commemoration included a prayer for the six million Jews killed
during World War II, and a wreath laying ceremony at the local Holocaust
victims' monument. 
Author: DIVERS

GOVERNMENT TO RESTORE RIGHTS FOR GERMAN COMMUNITY

BUCHAREST - Agriculture Minister Gheorghe Flutur said on May 14 that the
government is determined to strengthen relations with the German
community living in Transylvania and to grant justice for those who were
persecuted during communist rule.
Flutur was present at the annual meeting of Transylvanian Germans from
all over the world, which was held in the Dinkelsbuhl, Germany, during
the weekend. Over ten thousand people from Germany, Austria, Canada and
the U.S. attended the meeting.
The minister said he told the Germans at the meeting that the government
acknowledges their importance in over 850 years of living next to the
Romanians and the other ethnic minorities in Transylvania.
Also, Bucharest authorities are determined to find out the truth and
secure justice for the German community members who were persecuted by
communists, added Flutur.
He also underlined the importance of Transylvanian Germans' actions for
Romania's European integration.
"We are ready to admit what was done wrong, in order to make things
fundamentally right," said the minister. He also expressed the
government's intention to strengthen economic and political ties with
Germany and to "open the gates for investors interested in Romania."
Flutur said several German officials, including the president of the
German region of Hessen, Norbert Kartmann, who comes from Transylvania,
expressed their intention to help and support Romania in its EU
accession process.
Author: DIVERS

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DIVERS - News bulletin about ethnic minorities living in Romania is
edited every week by MEDIAFAX, with the financial support of King
Baudouin Foundation, Belgium and Ethnocultural Diversity Resource
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