Jun 07, 2005

Enhancing Minority Governance in Romania

The Romanian draft law on the status of national minorities: issues and definition, NGO status and cultural autonomy

ECMI and the DRI organized the second event of the “Improving Inter-ethnic Relations through Enhanced Minority Governance” project on 17–19 March 2005 in Sinaia, Romania. The head and both deputy heads of the DRI attended the roundtable along with national minority members of the Romanian Parliament and representatives of the national minority organizations represented on the Council of National Minorities. There were two fundamental purposes for the meeting. One was to provide the group with background information on the three major issues that will feature in the draft law on the status of national minorities, namely: defining a national minority; the status of national minority organizations under Romanian law; and cultural autonomy. The second purpose was to facilitate dialogue between the national minorities and the government concerning these main issues to be addressed in the draft law, so as to allow the government to hear the concerns and wishes of the national minority groups. It was noted that this was the first time that national minorities have been able to have a forum to discuss a draft law before it was presented to parliament. This report seeks to provide an account of the presentations and discussions that took place during this meeting, including some of the theories and practicalities of differing forms of definition, laws concerning NGOs and political parties, and models of cultural autonomy used in European states.

Read the full report (PDF)