MINELRES: Romania: Bulletin DIVERS on Ethnic Minorities - 40(168) October 24, 2005

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Divers Bulletin no. 40 (168) / October 24, 2005
News

HUNGARIAN AND ROMANIAN PRIME MINISTERS ATTEND HISTORIC JOINT SESSION

VOLUME ON THE ROMANIAN-HUNGARIAN POLITICAL RECONCILIATION 

LEVENTE SALAT: "EFFORT IS NEEDED TO DECONSTRUCT THE PREJUDICE OF THE ROMANIAN 
AND ETHNIC HUNGARIAN YOUNGSTERS"

PROTESTS FOR RE-OPENING OF HUNGARIAN UNIVERSITY IN CLUJ

POLICE TO ADOPT AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS ON HUMAN RIGHTS

ETHNIC ROMA IN EASTERN ROMANIA HAVE BAKERY MADE WITH EU FUNDS


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News

HUNGARIAN AND ROMANIAN PRIME MINISTERS ATTEND HISTORIC JOINT SESSION

BUCHAREST - The Romanian and Hungarian governments on October 20 held their 
first joint Cabinet meeting, marking a historic reconciliation between the two 
neighbors.
The meeting was attended by over 60 Romanian and Hungarian dignitaries, who 
signed dozens of bilateral cooperation agreements related to various issues: 
supporting small and medium private companies, communications, internal 
affairs, infrastructure development, health, defense, culture and education, as 
well as the status of minorities.
"Our peoples have hurt each other in the past but today we have the wisdom to 
change our fate and draw a common future. Our governments will together adopt 
decisions that will affect our countries' future development," said Romanian PM 
Calin Popescu Tariceanu at the opening ceremony. 
Hungary's Prime-Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany also said the joint meeting showed 
the two countries had surpassed a difficult past and noted that Hungary's 
parliament has already ratified Romania's EU membership treaty.
Tariceanu and Gyurcsany signed an important protocol which allows Hungarian and 
Romanian customs officers to perform joint checks, simplifying border crossing 
procedures. The two prime ministers also decided to recreate the Gojdu Romanian-
Hungarian Public Foundation in Budapest, which is to be financed by both 
governments. The Foundation will include a museum, a library and an Institute 
for Strategic Cooperation. It will grant annual scholarships to Romanian and 
Hungarian students who can not afford a higher education.
The Gojdu Foundation also functioned between 1870 and 1952, but the communist 
regime in Hungary decided to destroy it. 
Gyurcsany also announced that a new Hungarian consulate in Romania will be 
opened in Miercurea Ciuc and a cultural institute will soon be established in 
Sfantu Gheorghe, Harghita County. 
Another topic of discussion was the Brasov-Bors highway which will facilitate 
access to Hungary. Minister of Transportation Gheorghe Dobre informed the 
Budapest authorities that the contract signed by the Romanian government with 
US Bechtel does not comply with European legislation on public acquisitions, 
but Tariceanu said that the government is trying to solve the problem so 
construction works can resume as quickly as possible. 
In addition, the Hungarian and Romanian education ministers have decided to 
create a program that will allow Romanian students to visit Hungary and 
Hungarian students to visit Romania. 
The governments also discussed a memorandum specifying that the Romanian 
government is to allocate funds for the private Sapientia Hungarian University. 
Democratic Hungarians' Alliance (UDMR) President Marko Bela also made a speech 
and said that Romania and Hungary want to share the same values and follow the 
same democratic principles. Marko reminded the guests that in 1990 Romania and 
Hungary were on the verge of an interethnic conflict and added that even if the 
shadows of the past still haunt the two nations, the future seems bright. "We 
now have common goals and we can reach these only if we work together," said 
Marko. 
He also stated that the situation of both Hungarians living in Romania and 
Romanians living in Hungary depend on cooperation between the two countries and 
that the governments need to improve their legislation to be sure that 
minorities' rights will never be violated. 
The presidents of the County Councils of Maramures, Satu Mare, Bihor, Arad and 
Timis were also invited to the meeting, as most Hungarians in Romania live in 
these regions. 
The event was a premiere for both Hungary and Romania, as well as for Central 
and Eastern Europe, as no other governments in the region have ever organized a 
joint session. 
Author: DIVERS


VOLUME ON THE ROMANIAN-HUNGARIAN POLITICAL RECONCILIATION 

BUCHAREST – Centre of Resources for Ethno-Cultural Diversity and Pro-Europe 
League on October 19 launched the volume "Relatiile romano-maghiare si modelul 
de reconciliere franco-german" (Romanian-Hungarian relations and the Franco-
German reconciliation model). 
The book presents the results of an investigation the two civic organizations 
initiated in 2002 and within which they invited over 300 public figures, 
opinion leaders in Romania and Hungary to show their points of view on the 
evolution and the perspectives of the Romanian-Hungarian relations, inviting 
them to compare, to evaluate the opportunity of using the institutional support 
of the Franco-German reconciliation model. The book includes 31 stands on this 
problem plus a study widely presenting this institutional support of 
reconciliation. 
The launching of the volume was occasioned by the joint session of the Romanian 
and Hungarian governments, occasion on which it is discussed the opportunity of 
establishing a Romanian-Hungarian Bureau for youngsters, idea that belonged to 
the two organizations. 
“This project starts from a similar Franco-German one, which registered 
spectacular results on improving the relations between the two nations. About 7 
million persons have benefited along the year from the programs of the Franco-
German bureau, which led to influencing in better and to the ideas similarity 
of an entire generation”, stated the political scientist Emil Hurezeanu, 
present at the launching. “Romania needs such initiatives, despite the fact the 
relations between Romania and Hungary improved through their closeness to the 
Euro-Atlantic field, a civic project of reconciliation is still missing”.
On his turn, Smaranda Enache, the president of the League Pro Europe, and co-
editor of the volume was hopeful the Romanian-Hungarian relations will become 
better in the near future. “It cannot be changed the course of history without 
courage and passion. We want our states invest in the reshuffling and this 
volume is a step forward in hat respect”. 
Author: DIVERS


LEVENTE SALAT: "EFFORT IS NEEDED TO DECONSTRUCT THE PREJUDICE OF THE ROMANIAN 
AND ETHNIC HUNGARIAN YOUNGSTERS"

>- Interview with Levente Salat, pro-rector with University Babes Bolyai and co-
editor of the volume "Romanian-Hungarian relationships and the Franco-German 
reconciliation process". 

Reporter: What is the main aim of this volume?
Levente Salat: The volume aimed at becoming an instrument of advocacy, reason 
for which the volume is trilingual. We though it necessary that in order to 
establish a Romanian-Hungarian youngsters’ institute according to the model of 
France and Germany, we should make lobby at the European Union as well as along 
the two governments. We also aimed at evaluating the intellectual status of the 
Romanian-Hungarian relationships. When we first initiated this project, we have 
never imagined the answers we receive will emphasize the need to establish the 
respective institute, so to take over the institutional support of the French-
German model.
When we first sent the invitation to answer a couple of questions, to the 
public figures in the two countries, we have never thought of making a 
comparison with the political relevance between the two situations: situation 
of the `50 - `60, when it was taken into account the opportunity of French-
German reconciliation, namely the moment 2002, when the issue of the Romanian-
Hungarian relations was actual despite of the positive developments in the past 
years. It was obvious the two situations cannot compare and the French-German 
model cannot be taken over as a historical model and enforced within the 
Romanian-Hungarian context. We thought of that institutional support of the 
French-German reconciliation, which proved us the reconciliation did not take 
place on January 23, 1963, the second day after the historic agreement between 
the two states, but following the efforts deployed by the two governments, 
which targeted the compliance of the way history was taught in schools, of 
providing opportunities for the youngsters in the two countries to mutually 
know the culture and the way of living.
This was assumed and greatly accomplished by this French-German institute for 
youngsters. The book mainly aimed to draw the attention upon the fact the 
political exploitation of the reference to a possible comparison between the 
French-German and Romanian-Hungarian reconciliation models are unproductive. 
Only the institutional support can be taken over and the methods recreating the 
social bases of this reconciliation within generations.

R: What impact do you expect the book to have?
LS: When we initiated this project back in 2002, we did not image it becomes 
real or, following a lobby the Centre for Resources of Ethno-Cultural Diversity 
along with Pro Europe League made, and the proposal to establish such an 
institute is discussed during the session between the Romanian and Hungarian 
Governments. We also drew up a project of governmental agreement on 
establishing the respective institution. As far as we know, this proposal was 
taken over and the agreement will hopefully be enacted and signed. If this 
happens, we could say the initiative registered an unexpected result and the 
establishment of a Romanian-Hungarian institute for youngsters according to 
that in France and Germany will become real. We hope the institute is going to 
be an active initiative, financed by both governments. We also hope the 
European Union will also be interested in financing it through specific 
mechanisms.

R: What are the initiatives for the youngsters’ office and how efficient do you 
believe it is going to be to improve the Romanian-Hungarian relationships?
L S: The French-German department has a lot of experience in this field. It is 
impressing how the department has changed, as besides the large number of 
youngsters – seven million in the 40 years of existence of the centre – and the 
large number of organized events, exchanges were made between different 
categories of youngsters who were enabled to travel abroad and to learn at a 
beginners level in the language of the other nation, to have direct contacts 
with youngsters in the own category, to take part in their lives during a 
longer period of time, to get familiar with the culture of the other nation. 
Altogether, it was paid special attention to the way the collective mentality 
mirrors the other culture. This mirrored the manner to teach history, the way 
the culture of the other country is mirrored in the media from the respective 
country, so we can say this was a project of social constructivism extremely 
well built, in which both governments invested and considering the existing 
prejudice of the youngsters in Romania and Hungary, a joint effort is needed to 
gradually destroy these mental structures. 
Author: DIVERS


PROTESTS FOR RE-OPENING OF HUNGARIAN UNIVERSITY IN CLUJ

CLUJ-NAPOCA – Over 500 persons took part on October 18, in a demonstration 
organized in front of University "Babes-Bolyai" (UBB) in Cluj-Napoca, asking 
the re-establishment of University Bolyai, as a state university teaching in 
Hungarian language.
The participants to the demonstration were wearing placards with "Set free our 
university", "Education in the mother tongue". Within the manifestation there 
have been sent support messages of the reformed bishop Tokes Laszlo, of 
deputies Konya Hamar Sandor and Toro T. Tibor, of the Euro-parliamentarian 
Michl Ebner in South Tyrol, and didactic bodies of the ethnic Hungarian 
education line with UBB held speeches pleading for the reestablishment of 
University Bolyai. 
Deputy Toro T. Tibor asked the political leadership of the country to initiate 
a law in that respect and recommended the civil society to enforce movements of 
civic disobedience in the event the ethnic Hungarian state university in Cluj-
Napoca is not re-established. 
The organizers of the manifestation asked the vice-Premier Marko Bela, 
president of UDMR, to support the making of “a rapid decision” on re-
establishing University "Bolyai" in the joint session of the Romanian-Hungarian 
government scheduled for end-October. 
In addition, in an open letter addressed the president of Romania, Traian 
Basescu, the president is asked to use his authority to adopt the solution 
complying with the "claims and tradition within the ethnic Hungarian community 
in Romania". 
The participants to the demonstration also asked the financing from Romania’s 
state budget of the ethnic Hungarian private university Sapientia and of 
Christian University Partium, as well as the change of the "discriminative" 
situation underwent by the ethnic Hungarian pupils. 
The associations that organized the manifestation ask the establishment of 
ethnic Hungarian independent faculties within UBB "as a first and urgent step" 
to the re-establishment of University "Bolyai". According to them, as of the 
academic year 2006-2007, the state university in ethnic Hungarian language will 
start functioning, process to involve the teaching of 25% of UBB 
infrastructure, including the university campuses in counties Mures, Harghita 
and Covasna and a part of the main building in Cluj-Napoca. 
In addition, it was requested the establishment of section with teaching in 
ethnic Hungarian language at the faculties of engineering, sciences of 
agriculture, veterinary medicine and plastic arts. 
Some of the claims of the associations include those on the autonomy of the 
entire pre-university and university education system in ethnic Hungarian 
language, the right of the Csango people to learn ethnic Hungarian language, 
the writing off the compulsoriness to learn history and geography of Romania in 
the Romanian language, in the education units with teaching in ethnic Hungarian 
language. 
Author: DIVERS


POLICE TO ADOPT AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS ON HUMAN RIGHTS

BUCHAREST - The General Police Department has announced it is considering to 
adopt new measures to eliminate human rights abuses, following advice from 
Amnesty International and other NGOs in the field.
Last week, Amnesty International called on the Romanian government to complete 
a monitoring system aimed at listing the human rights issues encountered in 
police investigations involving the Roma minority.
The organization which also drew attention to racism in some parts of the 
media, issued a report containing cases of police abuses. A press release from 
the Police Department said that all cases of alleged abuses by the institution 
were investigated thoroughly and the necessary measures were taken against 
those who misused their guns or abused their positions. 
According to the press release, such abuses are isolated cases, not a general 
feature of police work. A recent survey showed that only 14 such cases took 
place, and the press release emphasized that several protocols have been signed 
with a number of institutions, including NGOs, to prevent police abuses. 
Special commissions have been created to promote better understanding of human 
rights among police officers and police staff. 
Amnesty referred in its report to the excessive use of force by the state's 
authorities dealing with investigations and asked the government to examine 
whether Romanian legislation on the use of guns is in line with European 
standards. The organization also recommended EU officials to keep a close eye 
on Romania and Bulgaria over human rights issues. The report comes at a 
delicate time for the two countries, which are awaiting the EU country report 
next week which will have strong influence on whether the two countries will 
enter in 2007. 
Author: DIVERS


ETHNIC ROMA IN EASTERN ROMANIA HAVE BAKERY MADE WITH EU FUNDS

BRAILA – The partnership between the Communitarian Group of Initiative of the 
ethnic Roma in commune Gradistea (Braila county, eastern Romania), Local 
Council and County Council Braila led to the establishment of a bakery in the 
locality. 
The project was financed by the European Union and developed on last ten 
months, as of December 2004. The budget was of over EUR 52,000. Subsequent to 
the end of the credit, the new owner of the bakery – Ethnic Roma Association in 
Gradistea – will accomplish revenues from the retail sale of the bakery 
products in the neighboring localities. “This first project involving the 
villagers was undoubtedly a challenge and an opportunity for the rural 
community and not only for the ethnic Roma in the commune. The establishment of 
the Ethnic Roma Association in commune Gradistea for Local Initiative (ARGIL) 
is a very important step in multiplying the positive effects of the project, 
which enables the ethnic Roma community to access other financing resources”, 
stated the mayor of commune, Petre Andrei. 
The project included all the expenses starting from the establishment of the 
ethnic Roma association and continuing with the planning and use of the 
production area and depositing, training of the operative personnel and ending 
with the starting up of the production. 
The beneficiaries of the project are the ethnic Roma in Gradistea. Out of 
these, 22 were trained to get the qualification of baker and 12 persons will be 
employed within the bakery, informs the release. 
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 
source is mentioned. You can send messages and suggestions regarding the 
content of DIVERS bulletin at MEDIAFAX, Str. Tudor Arghezi, Nr. 3B, Sector 2 - 
Bucharest, tel: 021/ 305.31.91 or at the e-mail address: divers@mediafax.ro 


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