MINELRES: Romania: Bulletin DIVERS on Ethnic Minorities - 1(177)2006

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Fri Jan 27 18:27:42 2006


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DIVERS 

Bulletin no. 1 (177) / 23 1 2006


ETHNIC ROMA STUDIES CENTER AT THE UNIVERSITY IN BUCHAREST 
UDMR DISAGREES WITH ANY SUBSTANTIAL CHANGE AT THE ETHNIC MINORITIES' LAW 
HUNGARY ASKS ROMANIA TO PASS MINORITIES' STATUS LAW 
BISHOP ACCUSE BUCHAREST FOR ETHNIC AND RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION OF
ETHNIC HUNGARIANS 


ETHNIC ROMA STUDIES CENTER AT THE UNIVERSITY IN BUCHAREST 

BUCHAREST – Bucharest University rector’s office authorized functioning
of the Ethnic Roma Studies Center, in January this year, at the
initiative of enthusiast young people within the Faculty of History of
Bucharest University Florin, Manole and Petru Petcut. 

Florin Manole, 4th year student with the Faculty of History, deployed
special efforts for the establishment of this center. He took the French
and American model, which have centers dealing with studying the
disadvantaged populations. Manole says we are very much alike with these
foreign patterns but the centers will comply with the needs and
conditions countrywide. Racism is spread throughout Romania, reason for
which he aimed to establish this center a couple of years ago; hence,
the initiative to establish the center started four months ago.

The Ethnic Roma Studies Center aims to draw up surveys and researches
based on the problems of each ethnic minority and to influence the
curriculum so that information on the ethnic Roma is included both in
the optional and compulsory manuals. The center will function as a
department within the Faculty of History and will make researches and
projects as well as a course on the ethnic Roma to be taught at the
Faculty of History. Some of the members of the Ethnic Roma Studies
Center will most probably teach this course.

The Center does not currently benefit from funds, reason for which it
does not have headquarters of its own; the faculty assigned a place for
the members of the center to develop their activity that must be
modernized along the way.

Anyone can become a member of the Ethnic Roma Studies Center, without
necessarily being a member of the ethnic Roma minority. Manole
recommends people to show interest and have minimum knowledge in this
field. “We do not aim to be a mass organization”, he added. Manole hopes
the center becomes functional in the next academic year. (DIVERS)
 

UDMR DISAGREES WITH ANY SUBSTANTIAL CHANGE AT THE ETHNIC MINORITIES' LAW

TIRGU MURES – "2006 is a historic year and by all odds, this is
Romania’s pre-accession year to the European Union", Marko Bela
president of Democratic Union of ethnic Hungarians in Romania (UDMR)
said last week when presenting Union's priorities for this year.

Romania’s top priority should be the EU’s accession and January 2007 is
a sustainable date in that respect, Marko added. As for this year’s
priorities, Romania should focus on the investments and infrastructure
development. In that respect, Marko Bela said that he "was glad to find
out that while Transylvania highway arose many conflicts last year, no
divergence exists anymore on continuing the works of the highway and the
government vowed the infrastructure, including the construction of the
highway, is he cabinet’s top priority. Unfortunately, the construction
of Transylvania highway was delayed by one year but the resuming of the
works is very important for the people in Transylvania as the investment
can have, even on short-term, a very positive effect upon the economic
development of the region", Marko said.

As for the different opinions between UDMR and the Democratic Party on
the issue of the minorities, UDMR accepts no substantial changes of the
draft law on the minorities and the law is very important for UDMR as
well as for the European Union. 

Also, the EU’s accession supposes the political parties’ accession to
the EU. Therefore, a political party in Romania that aims to become a
member of a powerful union of parties in Europe such as the European
People’s Party (EPP), must undertake the principles and the values of
the respective organization. EPP’s principles and values are
incompatible with the ultranationalist rhetoric and with the refusal of
some important solutions claimed by the national minorities and
important from the cohabitation point of view, UDMR president said.
(DIVERS)


HUNGARY ASKS ROMANIA TO PASS MINORITIES' STATUS LAW

TIRGU MURES - Hungarian authorities have called on Romania to pass the
national minorities' law as soon as possible, as it "provides for
Hungarians' cultural autonomy," while respecting the idea that the law
needs to be passed by the Parliament and Romanian politicians, according
to the head of the Hungarian Parliament.
Speaking in Tirgu-Mures (central Transylvania) during a two-day visit to
Romania, Szili Katalin also spoke about cooperation between Hungary and
Romania in view of the latter's upcoming EU accession.
In the same context, the head of the Democratic Union of ethnic
Hungarians in Romania (UDMR), Marko Bela, said EU accession is not only
desired by Romanians, but also by the Hungarian community.
In related developments, Hungary's General Consulate in Cluj-Napoca last
week granted the first visa for the ethnic Hungarians living abroad. The
visas allow ethnic Hungarians to stay permanently in Hungary for five
years. The visas are free and are granted to all ethnic Hungarians who
want to go to Hungary to study, visit their relatives or spend some time
in their native country, said General Consul Cseh Aron. Romanian
citizens can also receive such a visa if they comply with the above
conditions. (DIVERS)
 

BISHOP ACCUSE BUCHAREST FOR ETHNIC AND RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION OF
ETHNIC HUNGARIANS

ORADEA – Reformed bishop Laszlo Tokes last week said he will complain to
the European forums about the fact the reformed ethnic Hungarians are
religiously and ethnically discriminated. Also, he will organize with
his parishioners “a public demonstration with prayers”, at the Olosig
Reformed Church in Oradea, each Sunday. He aims to convince Oradea Local
Council to assign the Reformed Highschool "Lorrantfyi Zsuzsanna" an area
of about 300 square meters to be used as sports ground, the local press
informs, quoting Tokes. The sports ground that belonged to Highschool
"Lorantffy Zsuzsanna", now claimed by bishop Tokes, was assigned to the
Saint Trinity Orthodox Church back in 2003, in exchange of some larger
areas it had previously possessed in the same area and on which the
communist regime had built blocks of flats. The reformed bishop said “he
has serious doubts about existing the notion of ecumenism in Romania"
and he added that Romania "does not meet the EU’s accession criteria,
considering the ethnic and religious discrimination of the reformed
ethnic Hungarians". Also, he will inform the European forums about all
forms of discrimination. Last year, bishop Tokes was against assigning
the sports ground to the Saint Trinity Orthodox Parrish and organized
several protests; the Police fined 12 parishioners and employees with
the Reformed Bishopric for having illegally occupied this field.
(DIVERS)

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