MINELRES: Romania: Bulletin DIVERS on Ethnic Minorities - 39(167) October 17, 2005

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Divers Bulletin no. 39 (167) / October 17, 2005
News

ROMANIA CONDEMNS PERSECUTION OF JEWS, HOLOCAUST INSTITUTE OPEN

THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON THE FRAMEWORK CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF 
NATIONAL MINORITIES VISITS ROMANIA

ETHNIC HUNGARIANS ABROAD WANT QUICKER GRANTING OF HUNGARIAN CITIZENSHIP

DEPUTIES REJECT DRAFT LAW ON SZEKLERS' AUTONOMY

ETHNIC HUNGARIAN LEADER DOES NOT WANT ROMANIANS IN MINORITIES' LAW

PROJECT TO IMPROVE THE MANAGEMENT OF THE ETHNIC ROMA ORGANIZATIONS

ANOTHER TWO PROJECTS – MADE BY PHARE – TO SUPPORT THE ETHNIC ROMA


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News

ROMANIA CONDEMNS PERSECUTION OF JEWS, HOLOCAUST INSTITUTE OPEN

BUCHAREST – Romanian authorities vowed to expand education about the Holocaust, 
as the country commemorated the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Jews and 
Gypsies during World War II, AP reports.
Marking Holocaust Memorial Day in Romaniaon October 9, the country's first 
Holocaust institute was inaugurated in a recently renovated building in 
downtown Bucharest. 
Officials said they hoped the Elie Wiesel Institute - named after the Romanian-
born Nobel Prize winner and Holocaust survivor - would help raise awareness 
about Romania's role in the Holocaust, when the country was an ally of Nazi 
Germany during 1941-1944. 
"It is time the truth was known and Romanian society became aware of this 
event," Deputy Culture Minister Virgil Nitulescu said. "The truth isn't enough 
to be unveiled. It must be spread to make it known."
President Traian Basescu, Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu and other 
officials placed flowers at a monument for Holocaust victims in the courtyard 
of Bucharest's Coral Temple, the city's main synagogue.
Basescu later condemned Romanian authorities who ruled the country during the 
war for persecuting Jews. 
There was a Holocaust in Romania, and the solution is not to hide it, but to 
recognize it and to teach the young generations about this reality," he said. 
An international panel of historians set up last year said the wartime regime 
of Marshal Ion Antonescu was responsible for the deaths of 280,000-380,000 Jews 
and more than 11,000 Gypsies. 
The government officially took responsibility last year for the actions of 
Romanian authorities during World War II, and has introduced Holocaust studies 
in schools' curricula. 
Israeli Ambassador Rodica Radian-Gordon said the institute would work to "keep 
the memory" of the victims alive. "Jews in Romania consider this opening a 
historic event," said Aurel Vainer, who heads the Romanian Jewish Community. "I 
regret that it happened only today, but it's very important to assume the 
historic past." 
The United States also hailed the opening of the institute and its mission to 
advance research and education on the Holocaust. "We are obligated to transmit 
to the youth truth, compassion, tolerance and justice," U.S. Charge d'Affaires 
Mark Taplin said. 
Romania was home to 760,000 Jews before 1940. About 6,000 Jews live there now. 
During communist times, official history taught that Germans were the sole 
perpetrators of the Holocaust, ignoring the involvement of Romania's wartime 
leaders. 
After the 1989 collapse of communism, Antonescu was hailed as a hero by some 
Romanians for having gone to war against the Soviet Union in 1941 after it 
invaded parts of Romania. 
Author: DIVERS


THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON THE FRAMEWORK CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF 
NATIONAL MINORITIES VISITS ROMANIA

BUCHAREST - A delegation of the Advisory Committee on the Council of Europe’s 
Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities has visited 
Romania last week in the context of the monitoring of the implementation of 
this convention in the country. 
The visit is the 10th country visit conducted by the Advisory Committee in the 
second Cycle of monitoring. The Committee is composed of 18 independent experts 
elected by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. 
Romania submitted its second state report under the Framework Convention in 
June 2005, and the delegation of the Advisory Committee will be in Romania in 
order to seek further information. On the basis of this and other information, 
the Advisory Committee will subsequently adopt an opinion on how Romania has 
implemented the various articles of the Framework Convention. 
Author: DIVERS


ETHNIC HUNGARIANS ABROAD WANT QUICKER GRANTING OF HUNGARIAN CITIZENSHIP

TIRGU MURES – The representatives of the ethnic Hungarian organizations taking 
part in the Forum of the Ethnic Hungarians Abroad, passed a declaration in 
which they ask, among other things, the speeding up of granting Hungarian 
citizenships to the ethnics abroad.
According to the text of the final declaration passed on October 8 the 
participants to the meeting agree with the intentions of the Hungarian 
Government, according to whom the Constitution of Hungary should assign a 
separate chapter to the status of the ethnic Hungarians abroad. 
“We want the amendment of the Constitution is also debated by the specialty 
Commissions of the Ethnic Hungarians’ Permanent Conference and this change is 
subsequently enacted in MAERT plenary session (Ethnic Hungarian Permanent 
Conference). During the process of amending the Constitution, we consider to be 
essential the unequivocal declaration of the appurtenance of the ethnic 
Hungarians abroad to the Hungarian nation”, informs the document, which also 
asks the speeding up of granting the Hungarian citizenship of the ethnic 
Hungarians abroad. 
“An objective in that respect is crossing the border to Hungary and to the 
other countries of the European Union without any impediment. We consider as 
positive the initiative of the Government of Hungary to maintain the national 
visa subsequent to Hungary accession to the Schengen Agreement. 
As regards the appurtenance to the Hungarian nation, we consider the Ethnic 
Hungarian Identification Card is the basis of the facilities”, informs the 
final declaration. According to the document, we must avoid the issue of the 
ethnic Hungarians abroad becomes a topic of electoral campaign, of splitting up 
in the following electoral campaign in Hungary and it is saluted the 
ratification of Romania’s Accession Treaty to the EU , by the Hungarian 
Parliament. 
“We especially support the accession to the EU because of the fact the autonomy 
of the minority communities, which is our main objective, cannot be made but 
based on the European values. We are convinced the different forms of autonomy 
are a prerequisite for keeping and developing the minority communities", says 
the same declaration. 
According to the same document, the participants to the conference salute the 
Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) initiative, addressed 
the Government of Romania, "following which it submitted the Parliament a bill 
on the minorities targeting the fulfillment of the cultural autonomy”. 
In addition, a final point of the Declaration stresses out the participants to 
the Conference in Tirgu Mures firmly reprove the actions against the ethnic 
Hungarians in Vojvodina and subsequently ask the international forums and the 
Government of Hungary take a firm attitude on this matter. 
On the other hand, the Forum of the ethnic Hungarians Abroad enacted a decision 
to establish a commission of experts, “for coordinating the autonomy 
aspirations of the ethnic Hungarians in the Carpathian Basin”. 
Author: DIVERS


DEPUTIES REJECT DRAFT LAW ON SZEKLERS' AUTONOMY

BUCHAREST - The Deputies' Chamber has rejected the draft law proposed by two 
Hungarian Democratic Alliance deputies, on autonomy for the Szekler region, 
saying it is non constitutional. The commission which analyzed the draft law 
said that it was non constitutional because it aimed at creating a state within 
the Romanian state. 
The only deputies who voted in favor of the project were from the Hungarian 
Democratic Alliance. The Hungarian group leader Marton Arpad said that the 
proposal was legal because the form of autonomy it suggested did not contradict 
the principle of the unitary state. 
Author: DIVERS


ETHNIC HUNGARIAN LEADER DOES NOT WANT ROMANIANS IN MINORITIES' LAW

BUCHAREST - The suggestion of Romanian Conservative Party (PC) that the 
national minorities' law should include a provision about the situation of 
Romanians who are minorities in certain counties is "bizarre," according to 
UDMR leader Marko Bela.
The leader of the ethnic Hungarian party, which is also part of the ruling 
coalition with the Conservatives, said he did not agree with the proposal to 
introduce the situation of the Romanian communities in Harghita and Covasna 
counties (central Romania, where the majority of population is of Hungarian 
origin) into the law for national minorities and criticized the Conservatives 
for "turning into great defenders of national interests overnight."
Romanians cannot be considered a minority in Romania, according to Marko, who 
stressed that the draft law refers only to minorities that have to maintain 
their national identity. 
Author: DIVERS


PROJECT TO IMPROVE THE MANAGEMENT OF THE ETHNIC ROMA ORGANIZATIONS

BUCHAREST – Department of ethnic Roma for Social Intervention and Studies – 
Romani CRISS announces to develop the project "Improvement of the management of 
the ethnic Roma organizations". The project will develop during October 2005-
May 2006 and will include 20 Ethnic Roma NGOs. The activities suppose four 
training modules (writing and project management, settlement of partnerships 
and attracting funds) as well as publishing a management guidebook for the non-
governmental organizations.
The identification of the target group was triggered by the difficulties faced 
by the ethnics, out of lack of visibility of the Roma NGOs and their poor 
capacity of proposing viable programs on improving the status of these 
minorities. The program is financed by the European Union through PHARE 
Program, the component "Training for NGO". 
Author: DIVERS


ANOTHER TWO PROJECTS – MADE BY PHARE – TO SUPPORT THE ETHNIC ROMA

CLUJ-NAPOCA – As many ethnic Roma face difficulties in finding a job ensuring a 
decent leaving standard, the Ethnic Roma Communities Resource Center (CRCR), 
along with the National Job Recruitment Agency launched the Phare 
project “Authorized social services on job recruitment in the ethnic Roma 
communities”.
The project aims to increase the capacity of the ethnic Roma non-governmental 
organizations in providing authorized social services of professional 
conciliation and mediation in the ethnic Roma communities in Romania. CRCR will 
also organize courses of recruitment agent, at the end of which the 
participants will get nationally recognized diplomas.
The beneficiaries of the courses will be twenty graduates with high education 
studies, without a labor place among the ten ethnic Roma non-governmental 
organizations. Ten ethnic Roma organizations will be authorized to provide 
services and their selection will be made based on the application form, taking 
into account the authorization criteria of the providers of specialized 
services for labor force stimulation. 
In addition, the organizers want to accomplish a database with about 2000 
ethnic Roma looking for a job and with potential employers. Within the 
conciliation and professional mediation activities, there are targeted 
practical activities in about forty ethnic Roma communities in the urban and 
rural environment. CRCR hopes this project helps a higher number of ethnic 
Roma, through information on the purpose, objectives and results of the 
project. Altogether, it is taken into account the drawing up and editing of 
an “Informative guidebook for the ethnic Roma communities in recruitment 
field”. 
During the same period, CRCR also launched the project “Revenue-generating 
projects for the inter-ethnic NGOs in the rural environment – a step for 
better”. This project aims at improving the management of fifteen non-
governmental organizations and inter-ethnic groups of initiative in the rural 
environment in Romania (facility within the program of community development 
2002-2004) to implement revenue-generating projects. Within this project, 
fifteen ethnic Roma instructors and facilitators, collaborators of CRCR, will 
benefit from training courses in the project and human resources management, 
financial management and legislation, marketing and business plan. 
Author: DIVERS


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 Center. Partial or full 
reproduction of the information contained in DIVERS is allowed only if the 
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