It is unacceptable that backward steps have been taken concerning national minority rights in Romania, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Saturday.
Szijjártó said in a statement that the country’s new administrative code, enacted by the Romanian government with an emergency order, reduces, rather than expands, national minority rights, contrary to a proposal supported earlier by the majority of parliament.
In line with the new regulation, national minorities will lose their right to use their mother tongue if their proportion within the general population drops below 20 percent.
The earlier regulation guaranteed the protection of acquired rights regardless of future changes in the population, the statement added.
“We believe the new regulations also endanger the right to use the mother tongue for official administrative procedures in villages and towns where the proportion of the national minority still exceeds 20 percent,” he said.
International and bilateral regulations protect minority rights and these must be respected in Romania, too, he added.