Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 September 2014, 13:07 GMT

Romania: Ethnic Hungarians (January 2001 - January 2006)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa
Publication Date 16 February 2006
Citation / Document Symbol ROU100794.EX
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Romania: Ethnic Hungarians (January 2001 - January 2006), 16 February 2006, ROU100794.EX, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/47de378f1a.html [accessed 1 October 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

General Situation

The 2004 Regular Report on Romania's Progress Towards Accession by the European Union (EU) described ethnic Hungarians as being "well integrated" into Romanian society (EU 6 Oct. 2004, 13). However, an Associated Press (AP) article remarked on the continuing "distrust" between ethnic Romanians and Hungarians in Romania, despite a recent "easing" of tensions (AP 7 June 2004).

Government Office for Hungarian Minorities Abroad (GOHMA)

Hungary's Government Office for Hungarian Minorities Abroad (GOHMA), which was founded in 1992 by government decree, is "[a] public administrative body ... supervised by the Minister for Foreign Affairs" that monitors the situation of ethnic Hungarians mainly in neighbouring countries (Hungary n.d.). In its 2005 report on the situation of ethnic Hungarians in Romania, GOHMA provided information on many facets of ethnic Hungarian life in Romania (ibid. 2005c).

Geographic Distribution

The most recent Romanian census, from 2002, found that there were 1,431,807 ethnic Hungarians living in the country, representing 6.6 per cent of the total population (Rompres 4 Mar. 2004; UNPO n.d.). Most ethnic Hungarians live in Transylvania, in western Romania, where they make up about a fifth of the region's population (Hungary 2005c).

According to data collected during Romania's 2002 census and posted on the Website of the Hungarian Human Rights Foundation (HHRF), there were 5,996 ethnic Hungarians in Bucharest, out of a total of 1,921,751 people, representing a concentration of 0.3 per cent of the capital city's population (HHRF 2002). The following table shows the concentration of ethnic Hungarians of Romania's 41 counties (county names are in Hungarian):

CountyCounty PopulationEthnic HungariansConcentration
Arad461,73049,39910.7 %
Arges653,9035430.1 %
Bakó708,7514,5280.6 %
Beszterce-Naszód312,32518,3945.9 %
Bihar600,223155,55425.9 %
Botosani454,02391...*
Brassó588,36651,4708.7 %
Braila373,897143...
Buzau494,982206...
Calarasi324,629156...
Constanta715,1729360.1 %
Dâmbovita541,3264350.1 %
Dolj734,823290...
Fehér382,99920,6825.4 %
Galac619,522266...
Giurgiu298,02272...
Gorj387,4076690.2 %
Hargita326,020275,84184.6 %
Hunyad487,11525,3215.2 %
Ialomita296,48687...
Iasi819,044336...
Ilfov300,1092830.1 %
Kolozs703,269122,13117.4 %
Kovászna222,274164,05573.8 %
Krassó-Szörény333,3965,8591.8 %
Máramaros510,68846,2509.1 %
Maros579,862227,67339.3 %
Mehedinti306,1182580.1 %
Neamti557,0843330.1 %
Olt490,276117 ...
Prahova829,2246540.1 %
Szatmár369,096129,99835.2 %
Szeben422,22415,4783.7 %
Szilágy248,40757,31823.1 %
Suceava690,9413720.1 %
Teleorman436,92663...
Temes677,74451,4217.6 %
Tulcea258,639120...
Vaslui455,55091...
Vâlcea413,5703470.1 %
Vrancea390,268141...

(ibid.). * All figures marked "..." represent a concentration of less than 0.05 per cent of the county's population.

The Website of GOHMA also contains maps which illustrate the geographical distribution of ethnic Hungarians in Romania in 2002, by percentage (Hungary 2005a) as well as by number (ibid. 2005b). In addition, the Website of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Magyar Tudományos Akadémia – HAS), provides detailed information on the number of ethnic Hungarians in Romania by municipality according to the 2002 census, but is available only in Hungarian (HAS 2002).

Demography

According to GOHMA, there were nearly 200,000 fewer ethnic Hungarians in Romania in 2002 than there were in 1992 (Hungary 2005c). While much of the decline is due to a shrinking birth rate, another significant factor is emigration (ibid.). Assimilation was not seen as an important contributor to the population decline, as intermarriage between ethnic Hungarians and other groups was reportedly low (ibid.).

Political Representation

In addition to being a political party (ibid.), the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (DAHR) is a national organization in Romania that seeks autonomy for ethnic Hungarians and the promotion of their rights as minorities (ibid.; UNPO n.d.). According to GOHMA,

The basic objectives of DAHR are the preservation and development, through the creation of various forms of autonomy, of the traditions, language and culture of Romania's Hungarian national community, and the modernization of Romania's society, economy, and public administration (Hungary 2005c).

In its 2005 report on Romania's progress towards accession, the EU noted improvements in the situation of the ethnic Hungarian minority as DAHR carried out its mandate to promote ethnic Hungarian interests (25 Oct. 2005).

In Romania's November 2004 parliamentary and presidential elections, DAHR was able to secure 22 seats in the House of Representatives and 10 seats in the Senate (Country Reports 2004 28 Feb. 2005, Sec. 3; Hungary 2005c), representing 6.7 per cent and 7.2 per cent of the seats respectively (ibid.). As a part of the governing coalition, DAHR is represented in four cabinet portfolios:

  • Béla Markó is Minister of Culture, Education, and European Integration and is also the Deputy Prime Minister;
  • Zsolt Nagy is Minister of Telecommunication and Information Technology;
  • László Borbély is Acting Minister of Transportation, Public Construction, Territorial Planning, and Tourism;
  • Gyula Winkler is Acting Minister of Economy and Trade (ibid.)

DAHR also represents the ethnic Hungarian minority in the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO n.d.). Among the recent actions taken by DAHR has been the proposal of a draft minority law (Magyar Nemzet 8 Sept. 2005; UNPO n.d.). According to the UNPO, the draft law

... regulates all aspects of the right to the use of [one's] mother tongue and the right to education and culture in [one's] mother tongue. Besides the provision of principle, the law concretely defines those national minorities that can be regarded as traditional and historical minorities in Romania due to their long-lasting co-existence with the Romanian majority. The most important element of the draft is the establishment of a legal framework for the practice of cultural autonomy (ibid.).

Information indicating whether this draft law eventually passed into legislation could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within time constraints. However, on 7 September 2005, the Hungarian daily Magyar Nemzet reported that the mayor of the Romanian town of Szekelyudvarhely (Miercurea Secuiesc in Romanian) and leader of the Hungarian Civic Alliance of Romania, Jenoe Szasz, was critical of this draft law, claiming that it "[did] not serve the goals of Hungarians but strengthen[ed] the nation-state's prerogatives."

In November 2004, the Rompres news agency reported that the prefect of Covasna County, Horia Grama, allegedly qualified as "illegal" efforts by DAHR to put up signs reading "Szeklerland" in the county, in reference to the area's Szekler, or ethnic Hungarian, majority (Rompres 16Nov. 2004).

In January 2005, Agence France-Presse (AFP) quoted an announcement by Romania's Prime Minister, Calin Tariceanu, in which he stated that the new governors of the counties of Kovászna (Covasna), Beszterce-Naszód (Bistrita Nasaud), and Máramaros (Maramures) would all be ethnic Hungarians (AFP 7 Jan. 2005).

Language Laws

In its 2005 accession report on Romania, the EU stated that Romania's enforcement of minority language legislation was "satisfactory in the case of the Hungarian minority" (EU 25 Oct. 2005).

Amendments to the Constitution of Romania that were approved through a referendum in October 2003, which GOHMA described as "a breakthrough in the sphere of minority interest protection," brought about the guarantee that native languages could be used "in public administration, in state offices, and in the administration of justice" (Hungary 2005c). However, the Constitution also stipulates that Romania is a nation-state and that Romanian is the official language (Hungary 2005c; Romania 29 Oct. 2003).

Article 6 of the Romanian Constitution stipulates that

(1) [t]he State recognizes and guarantees the right of persons belonging to national minorities to the preservation, development and expression of their ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identity.

(2) The protection measures taken by the Romanian State for the preservation, development and expression of identity of the persons belonging to national minorities shall conform to the principles of equality and non-discrimination in relation to other Romanian citizens (ibid.).

Law 188/1999 stipulates that when hiring civil servants, it is "mandatory to employ persons with a knowledge of the minority language in administrative units where the proportion of a minority exceeds 20%" (Hungary 2005c). However, information indicating whether this applied only to the national government or to local governments as well could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within time constraints.

Public administration Law 215/2002, adopted in 1991 and elevated to the status of law a decade later, permits "the use of national minority languages in public administration in settlements where minorities exceed 20% of the population" (ibid.). Romanian Government Decision 1206/2001 regulates the implementation of Law 215/2001 (Romania 6 June 2005). In its second report submitted to the Council of Europe on the protection of national minorities, Romania provided an assessment of the application of Decision 1206/2001 in various Romanian counties with significant linguistic minorities (ibid.). For a breakdown of this assessment by county, please see the electronic attachment at the end of this Response.

In June 2004, a city hall official from Cluj allegedly refused to marry a couple after the groom consented to the marriage in three languages, saying "igen, da, oui" (yes in Hungarian, Romanian, and French, respectively) (AP 7 June 2004). The official, who had already refused to marry couples on two previous occasions for similar reasons, said he would have married the couple if the groom had said "da" first (ibid.).

Hungarian Education Legislation

According to GOHMA, a new education law passed in 1999 "guarantees the right of education in the mother-tongue" at all levels of education (Hungary 2005c). The law also provides for minority language education in small scattered communities where the proportion of minority language users is below the normal minimum (ibid.). Article 32 of the Romanian Constitution allows for, and in some cases guarantees, the provision of education in languages other than Romanian:

...

(2) Education at all levels shall be carried out in Romanian. Education may also be carried out in a foreign language of international use, under the terms laid down by law.

(3) The right of persons belonging to national minorities to learn their mother tongue, and their right to be educated in this language are guaranteed; the ways to exercise these rights shall be regulated by law (Romania 29 Oct. 2003).

Country Reports 2004 added that while students in public primary and secondary schools may be taught in Hungarian, high school history and geography classes are taught in Romanian (28 Feb. 2005, Sec. 5).

Hungarian Education in Practice

In its 2005 report on Romania, GOHMA released figures on Hungarian-language education in Romania (Hungary 2005c). According to government figures, the proportions of cohorts who studied in Hungarian-languages schools in the 2002-2003 academic year were as follows: 6.58 per cent of students in nursery schools, 5.05 per cent in Grades 1 to 4, 4.61 per cent in Grades 5 to 8, 3.97 per cent in high schools, 2.94 per cent in vocational schools, 4.3 per cent in institutions of higher education, and 2.68 per cent in post graduate schools studied in Hungarian-language institutions (ibid.). In 2002-2003, 11,917 teachers were instructing 186,218 children enrolled in 2,322 Hungarian-language nurseries and public schools throughout Romania (ibid.). There were 1,120 Hungarian-language nursery schools, 417 primary schools, 634 elementary schools, 133 high schools, and 18 vocational and post-graduate schools (ibid.). GOHMA added that an additional 7,110 ethnic Hungarian students were attending 623 Romanian language schools but could study Hungarian with some 831 teachers (ibid.).

Higher Education in Hungarian

According to GOHMA,

[Ethnic] Hungarian students in state universities may study in their native language in independent faculties and departments with their own budget. Learning opportunities in the Hungarian language are limited or entirely lacking in the field of technical sciences, professional trends related to agriculture, and in education in the fields of law, music, and fine arts (ibid.).

During the 2002-2003 academic year, there were a total of 25,762 ethnic Hungarian students attending institutions of higher education, of which 9,962 were studying in the Hungarian language (ibid.). While there are no Hungarian public (state-funded) universities in Romania (ibid.; EU 25 Oct. 2005), four state universities offer instruction in Hungarian: the Babes-Bolyai University in Kolozsvár (Cluj in Romanian); the Faculty of Hungarian Studies at the University of Bucharest; as well as the University of Medicine and Pharmacology and the Theatrical University, both in Marosvásárhely (Târgy Mures) (Hungary 2005c).

In 2001, following efforts by DAHR, the Hungarian government helped found the private Hungarian-language Sapientia University, which in 2003 had 915 students studying in 14 faculties in the cities of Marosvásárhely (Târgu Mures) and Csíkszereda (Miercurea Ciuc) (ibid.; see also EU 6 Oct. 2004). In January 2005, the national leader of DAHR, Bela Marko, stated that the Romanian government should partly fund Sapienta (Rompres 24 Jan. 2005).

In addition to the aforementioned universities, there are several privately run theological Hungarian-language universities: the Protestant Theological Institute in Kolozsvár (Cluj), the Catholic Theological University in Gyulafehérvár (Alba Iulia) and the Partium Christian University in Nagyvárad (Oradea) (Hungary 2005c).

The consultation centres of several Hungarian universities, located in the Transylvania region of Romania, provide additional resources to university students who study in Hungarian (ibid.).

DAHR has been striving to increase the options available to Hungarian speakers who wish to conduct their post-secondary studies in their mother tongue by having Romanian universities offer additional Hungarian-language faculties and/or courses, and although the universities themselves were reportedly often reluctant to implement these changes, in 2005 GOHMA expected progress in this area to continue (ibid.).

Csango Community

According to Country Reports 2004, members of the Csango community who live in Romania's Moldavia region and "speak an archaic form of Hungarian" voiced concerns that schooling was not available in their language (28 Feb. 2005, Sec. 5). However, members of the Csango community later founded "school groups" in which Hungarian was the language of instruction and which numbered twenty-four groups in nine localities with four hundred fifty students by 2004-2005 (Country Reports 2004 28 Feb. 2005, Sec. 5). The EU's 2004 Regular Report on Romania's Progress Towards Accession stated that the situation of the Csango community had improved, and that Hungarian was "taught as an optional subject in 10 communes" (EU 6 Oct. 2004).

Country Reports 2004 noted that members of the Csango community in the region of Moldavia "could not hold religious services in the community in their mother tongue, because of the opposition of the Roman Catholic Bishopric" (28 Feb. 2005, Sec. 5).

Szekels Community

Citing the Romanian Helsinki Committee (Asociatia Pentru Apararea Drepturilor Omuluid in Romania – Comitetul Helsinki, APADOR-CH), the International Helsinki Federation (IHF) in 2004 reported an incident of alleged discrimination involving the Szekels, a subset of the ethnic Hungarian minority in Romania (IHF 2004). A Szekely organization, the Szekely National Council (SNC), advocates the creation of an autonomous Szekely region in the counties of Maros, Hargita, and Kovászna, where the majority of the population is ethnic Hungarian, but does not advocate for territorial secession (ibid.). According to the APADOR-CH,

[f]our active members of the SNC were repeatedly harassed by the local police, the gendarmes, the Prosecutor's Office, and the Romanian Intelligence Service, under the pretext that they were espousing "territorial separation." They were "led" to the police station, their houses were searched and they were threatened by high-ranking officials (including the minister of public administration) about their "anti-constitutional" actions (ibid.).

APADOR-CH added that the area's ethnic Romanians did not encounter mistreatment when they called for similar administrative changes regarding minorities (ibid.). As a result, "APADOR-CH asked the National Council for Combating Discrimination [NCCD] to take immediate action against the Romanian authorities involved" (ibid.).

Police

Romania's law on the statute of police officers calls for the hiring of some officers whose mother tongue is a minority language, but according to the EU, in practice, there remain few police officers with non-Romanian language abilities (EU 6 Oct. 2004). In 2005, the EU reiterated the fact that the Hungarian-language capabilities of the police remained insufficient (25 Oct. 2005).

Justice System

The Romanian Constitution contains provisions that seek to protect linguistic minorities in the justice system (Romania 29 Oct. 2003). For instance, Section 8 of Article 23 states that "[a]ny person detained or arrested shall be promptly informed, in a language he understands, of the grounds for his detention or arrest ... " (ibid.). In addition, Section 2 of Article 128 of the Constitution states that "Romanian citizens belonging to national minorities have the right to express themselves in their mother tongue before the courts of law, under the terms of the organic law" (ibid.; see also EU 6 Oct. 2004).

Minority Protection Office

In 2001, the Romanian government established the Anti-Discrimination Council, led by a group of seven members, following regulations included in the anti-discrimination law that was initiated by DAHR in 2000 and formally passed by parliament in 2002 (Hungary 2005c). The law stipulates that "any person who is the victim of any form of discrimination can turn to the Minority Protection Office, and that body can also launch an investigation of its own" (ibid.).

According to Hungarian media, beginning in 2001, the Minority Protection Office was downgraded to be under the jurisdiction of a government ministry rather than maintaining status as a ministry in its own right (Duna 7 Jan. 2001; Hungarian Radio 14 Jan. 2001). From 2001 on, the Minority Protection Office has fallen under the Department for Interethnic Relations of the Ministry of Public Information, a fact which DAHR claimed, demonstrated "an indifference or less interest on the part of the current government towards the minority issue" (ibid.). Country Reports 2004 corroborated the information on the role of the department of interethnic relations, adding that, together with the National Office for Roma, the department monitored issues facing ethnic minorities in Romania (28 Feb. 2005, Sec. 5).

National Council for Combating Discrimination (NCCD)

According to the Migration Policy Group (MPG), a Brussels-based international organization (MPG n.d.a) that conducts research and develops policy on migration and anti-discrimination (ibid. n.d.b), the National Council for Combating Discrimination (NCCD) is a governmental agency that reports to the Romanian Prime Minister (MPG n.d.c). Founded in August 2002 (ibid.; COE 14Nov. 2003), this Bucharest-based agency has a broad mandate that includes "protect[ing] ... disadvantaged persons and groups that experience inequality compared to the majority of citizens"; proposing and endorsing equal-rights legislation; cooperating with government bodies as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to ensure equality; monitoring the application of legislation; receiving petitions and complaints on discrimination; conducting and publishing studies on the subject; and assessing and sanctioning violations (MPG n.d.c). Among the 14 categories of grounds of discrimination examined by NCCD are race, nationality, ethnicity, language, and religion (ibid.). In its undated description of the NCCD, the MPG claimed that the agency employed 38 people and had a budget of 25,564,201,000 LEI [or about CAN$981,000 (XE.com 16 Jan. 2006)] (MPG n.d.c).

In an interview published by the Council of Europe (COE), the president of the NCCD, Christian Jura, stated that between January and November 2003, the NCCD had received more than 400 petitions and complaints, conducted 15 investigations in cases of discrimination, and "sanctioned 35 cases of discrimination with penalties ranging from fines to warnings" (COE 14Nov. 2003). However, in a 6 December 2005 press release, the European Roma Rights Center (ERRC) indicated that the NCCD was in need of reform, and then proceeded to make recommendations to the Romanian government (ERRC 6 Dec. 2005). Among the critiques of the NCCD by the ERRC were

  • [t]he excessive length of the investigation;
  • The inability of the NCCD staff to recognize clear instances of discrimination;
  • The lack of transparency of the investigations undertaken by the NCCD;
  • The inability to provide meaningful redress to victims of discrimination (ibid.).

Further or corroborating information on potential areas of improvement by the NCCD could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within time constraints.

Additional Information

Additional information on the situation of ethnic Hungarians prior to June 2001 can be found in a report entitled Hungarians in Romania, which was prepared by the Center for Documentation and Information on Minorities in Europe-Southeast Europe (CEDIME-SE) of the Greek Helsinki Committee (GHC) (CEDIME-SE June 2001). The report contains a long list of ethnic Hungarian organizations that were operating in Romania in 2001 (ibid.).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Agence France-Presse (AFP). 7 January 2005. "Ethnic Hungarians to Rule in Three Romanian Regions." (Factiva)

Associated Press (AP). 7 June 2004. Lucia Stana Seveanu. "Marriage Officer Refuses to Marry Couple in Northwestern Romania." (Dialog)

Center for Documentation and Information on Minorities in Europe – Southeast Europe (CEDIME-SE). June 2001. Greek Helsinki Federation (GHF). Minorities in Southeast Europe: Hungarians of Romania. [Accessed 18 Jan. 2006]

Council of Europe (COE). 14November 2003. "Interview with Christian Jura, President of the Romanian National Council for Combating Discrimination (NCCD)." [Accessed 16 Jan. 2006]

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2004. 28 February 2006. "Romania." United States Department of State. [Accessed 18 Jan. 2005]

Duna TV [Budapest, in Hungarian]. 9 January 2001. "Premier Pledges to Keep Agreement with Ethnic Hungarians." (Factiva/BBC Monitoring)

European Roma Rights Center (ERRC). 6 December 2005. "Romanian National Council for Combating Discrimination Ineffective." [Accessed 16 Jan. 2006]

European Union (EU). 25 October 2005. European Commission. "Protection and Integration of Minorities." Romania: 2005 Comprehensive Monitoring Report. [Accessed 18 Jan. 2006]
_____. 6 October 2004. Commission of the European Communities. "Criteria for Membership." 2004 Regular Report on Romania's Progress Towards Accession. [Accessed 18 Jan. 2006]

Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Magyar Tudományos Akadémia – HAS). 2002. "Romania." Etnikai-Nemzeti Kisebbségkutató Intézet. [Accessed 17 Jan. 2006]

Hungarian Human Rights Foundation (HHRF). 2002. "A lakosság megoszlása nemzetiség szerint a 2002-es népszámlálási adatok alapján (A)*." [Accessed 10 Jan. 2006]

Hungarian Radio [Budapest, in Hungarian]. 14 January 2001. "Ethnic Hungarian Senator Unhappy with Minority Protection Structure." (Factiva/BBC Monitoring)

Hungary. 2005a. Government Office for Hungarian Minorities Abroad (GOHMA). "Map 1." [Accessed 17 Jan. 2006]
_____. 2005b. Government Office for Hungarian Minorities Abroad (GOHMA). "Map 2." [Accessed 17 Jan. 2006]
_____. 2005c. Government Office for Hungarian Minorities Abroad (GOHMA). The Situation of Hungarians in Romania in 2005. [Accessed 3 Jan. 2006]
_____. N.d. Government Office for Hungarian Minorities Abroad (GOHMA). "About the Office." [Accessed 10 Jan. 2006]

International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF). 23 June 2004. "Romania." Human Rights in the OSCE Region: Europe, Central Asia and North America, Report 2004 (Events of 2003). [Accessed 18 Jan. 2006]

Magyar Nemzet [Budapest, in Hungarian]. 8 September 2005. "Romania's Hungarian Politician Rejects Rapprochement with Rival Ethnic Party." (Factiva)

Migration Policy Group (MPG).N.d.a. "The Organisation." [Accessed 16 Jan. 2006]
_____. N.d.b. "Policy Development." [Accessed 16 Jan. 2006]
_____. N.d.c. "Profile of Partner Equality Body." [Accessed 18 Jan. 2006]

Romania. 6 June 2005. In Council of Europe (COE). Second Report Submitted by Romania Pursuant to Article 25, Paragraph 1 of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. (ACFC/SR/II(2005)004). [Accessed 18 Jan. 2006]
_____. 29 October 2003. Constitution of Romania (Amended 29 October 2003). [Accessed 12 Jan. 2006]

Rompres News Agency [Bucharest]. 24 January 2005. "Regional Reshaping: A Priority for Ethnic Hungarians in Romania." (Factiva/BBC Monitoring)
_____. 16November 2004. "Romanian Official Sees Ethnic Hungarians' Move to Regional Autonomy 'Illegal'." (Factiva/BBC International)
_____. 4 March 2004. "Census: 89.47 Percent of Population Romanians, 6.6 Percent Ethnic Hungarians." (Factiva/BBC Monitoring)

Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO).N.d. "Hungarian Minority in Romania." [Accessed 29 Dec. 2006]

XE.com. 16 January 2006. "Universal Currency Converter." [Accessed 16 Jan. 2006]

Additional Sources Consulted

Publications: Constitutions of the Countries of the World, Encyclopedia of the World's Minorities 2005, Ethnic Groups Worldwide, Quid 2005.

Internet Sites, including: Amnesty International (AI), Association for the Defense of Human Rights in Romania – The Helsinki Committee (APADOR-CH), Courrier des Balkans [Arcueil, France], Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (DAHR), The Economist [London], European Country of Origin Information Network (ECOI), Fédération internationale des ligues des droits de l'homme (FIDH), Freedom House, Human Rights Watch (HRW), Minorities at Risk Project (MAR), Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Electronic Attachment

Romania. 6 June 2005. In Council of Europe (COE). "The Stage of the Implementation of the Provisions of the Government Decision No. 1206/2001, by Counties." Second Report Submitted by Romania Pursuant to Article 25, Paragraph 1 of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. [Accessed 18 Jan. 2006]

THE STAGE OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE GOVERNMENT DECISION no. 1206/2001, BY COUNTIES

No.CountyStage of implementation of GD 1206/ 2001
1.ALBAThe names of localities where Hungarian minority exceeds 20% (7) and Roma minority exceeds 20% (1) are bi-lingually written.Names of public institutions are bi-lingually written in a single locality. Mayor and ten councilors belong to Hungarian minority in one locality. Hungarian-speakers were hired within three municipalities to facilitate communication.
2.ARADMother tongue is used in local public administration in ten localities. There are bi-lingual inscriptions of locality names in 16 localities. In 3 localities, the use of mother tongue in local public administration was not requested (Chisinau- Cris, Sintea Mare and Vinga)
3.BIHORThe percentage of citizens belonging to minorities exceeds 20% in 50 localities. There are bi-lingual inscriptions of locality names in all of them, the agenda of local council meetings and the decisions made are noticed to people also in mother tongue. Hungarian-speakers were hired in all these municipalities to facilitate contacts.
4.BISTRITA-NASAUDThe names of localities where Hungarian minority exceeds 20% are bi-lingual written. In most of localities public institutions names are bi-lingually written.3-5 Hungarian speakers work in each municipality. The agenda of local council meetings and the decisions made are noticed to people also in mother tongue only in Branistea commune. Although 7 councilors belong to the Hungarian minority, they did not use their right to speak mother tongue during the council's meetings.
There are also citizens belonging to Roma community, but they usually speak Romanian. Roma people work within the prefecture, Bistrita and Beclean municipalities. Roma mediators work within Bistrita, Budacu de Jos and Dumitrita municipalities.
5.BOTOSANIThe percentage of Ukrainian citizens exceeds 20% in a single locality. The mayor and 2 councilors belong to this minority. All the legal provisions are observed.
6.BACAUIn 4 localities the percentage of citizens belonging to minorities exceed 20%. The name of the locality is bi-lingually written and Hungarian is used during council's meetings only in Ghimes- Faget . There is a county office for Roma community and 2 Roma councilors were elected within the county councils.
7.BRASOVCitizens belonging to minorities exceeding 20% use without restraint mother tongue in relationship with local authorities, the agenda of the local councils meetings are noticed also in this language and all the names of localities are bi-lingually written, as well as names of public institutions.
8.BUZAUThere is a single locality- Calvine commune, where Roma citizens exceed 20%. There were no individual or Roma organizations requests to use mother tongue in relationship with local public administration.
9.CARAS-SEVERINIn ten localities, people belonging to minorities exceed 20%. The agenda of local council meetings is bi-lingually noticed in 2 localities: Lupac and Girnic. In two localities mother tongue is used in relationship with local administration: Carasova and Girnic and during the local council's meetings in 2 localities: Girnic and Lupac. Bi-lingual inscriptions of locality names are placed in all these localities. Public institutions are bi-lingually named in 6 localities: Carasova, Coronini, Girnic, Lupac, Pojejena and Socol.
28,85 % of the population belong to Roma community in a single locality- Ticvaniu Mare. They do not use mother tongue in writing. A Roma expert works within the municipality, facilitating the contacts.
10.CLUJIn 25 localities people belonging to a minority exceed 20%. In all these localities, within local councils were hired Hungarian speakers and bi-lingual boards with locality names were placed. In 9 localities mayors and in 13 the deputy mayors belong to the Hungarian minority. Mother tongue is used in relationship with local administration and during local councils meetings (24 localities), and the agenda of local councils meetings is bi-lingually noticed to the citizens; citizens can address to the local authorities in mother tongue. Hungarian speakers were hired within municipalities to facilitate communication.
11.CONSTANTAIn 2 localities people belonging to a minority exceed 20%.Neither the use of mother tongue in relationship with local public administration nor the agenda of local council meetings and weddings celebrations in mother tongue were requested. Bi-lingual boards for locality names and public administration institutions will be placed during this year. Turkish or Russian speakers were hired within these municipalities to facilitate communication.
12.COVASNAIn all the 39 localities where people belonging to a minority exceed 20%, the agenda of local councils and their decisions are noticed in mother tongue, also; full and simultaneous translation is provided during councils' meetings, weddings are celebrated in Hungarian and Hungarian speakers were hired within municipalities to ensure a proper communication. The bi-lingual inscriptions of localities names observe the legal provisions. Cases were recorded when the name of the locality- capital of the county was written only in Hungarian. The Hungarian name for the city was used in written correspondence and competitions were organized for hiring personnel , a compulsory condition for the applicants being Hungarian language knowledge. Legal measures have been taken to settle the matter.
13.DOLJPeople belonging to Roma minority exceed 20% in 9 localities.No requests for using mother tongue in relationship with the local public administration were recorded.
14.HARGHITAIn all the 60 localities where the citizens belonging to the Hungarian minority exceed 20%, Hungarian language is used in relationship with the local administration, bi-lingual boards with names of localities were placed, as well as for public institutions, the agenda of local councils meetings is noticed also in mother tongue and the decisions too. Weddings are celebrated in Hungarian, if requested.
15.HUNEDOARAThere were placed bi-lingual boards with locality names in all the 4 localities mentioned in the Annex to the Norms for the implementation of GD 1206/ 2001
16.IASIRequests for placing bi-lingual boards with locality name were recorded only in Stolniceni-Prajescu commune.No requests for using mother tongue were recorded.
17.MARAMURESBi-lingual boards with locality names were placed in all the 17 localities where citizens belonging to a minority exceed 20% and the use of mother tongue in relationship with local administration was ensured. The decisions of the local councils are noticed in mother tongue, too.
18.MEHEDINTIThere is a single locality – Svinita – where people belonging to a minority exceed 20%. Mother tongue is used in relationship with local authorities. On the basis of the decision of the local council, the agenda and the decisions of local council are noticed in Romanian until equipment with Cyrillic letters is bought. Bi-lingual inscription for locality name is provided.
19.MURESThe provisions of the GD 1206/ 2001 are fully observed in all the localities where people belonging to a minority exceed 20%.
20.SATU MAREThe provisions of the GD 1206/ 2001 are fully observed in all the localities where people belonging to a minority exceed 20%.
21.SALAJThe provisions of the GD 1206/ 2001 are fully observed in all the localities where people belonging to a minority exceed 20%.
22.TIMISThere are bi-lingual inscriptions with locality names in all the 6 localities where people belonging to a minority exceed 20%. Hungarian speakers were hired within the municipalities in order to facilitate communication.No requests for noticing the agenda of local councils meetings, decisions and translating the debates during councils' meetings were recorded.
23.TULCEAIn 3 of 7 localities where people belonging to a minority exceed 20%, bi-lingual inscriptions with locality names are placed. The names of public administration institutions are not stated bi-lingually. Minority language speakers were hired within municipalities to facilitate communication and translation of the debates during the local council meetings was ensured.

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