According to Mikó Imre Minority Rights Legal Aids Service, two legislative proposals containing minority-friendly provisions have recently been passed in the Romanian Parliament, both waiting to be officially signed by President Klaus Iohannis.
One concerns an amendment to the 2011 Law on Education, which stipulates that a linguistic minority must be consulted whenever the issue of establishing, re-organising or closing an educational institution of that linguistic community is raised.
This amendment is especially welcome by the Hungarian community in Romania, since it would preempt situations like the one of the Catholic school in Tîrgu Mureș/Marosvásárhely, the fate of which is still uncertain.
However, the President has so far refused to promulgate the law, invoking a few passages in the text of the law that are ambiguous, according to Iohannis, including the term “linguistic minority”.
We find it regrettable that the President, himself a member of a linguistic minority, namely the German/Sachsen community in Romania, would use his power to block a piece of legislation that would be beneficial to all minority communities in Romania.
The other proposal concerns the new Administrative Code, which contains certain passages that would advance the issue of linguistic rights for minorities. The Civic Forum of Romanians from Covasna, Harghita and Mureș Counties addressed a letter to President Klaus Iohannis, in which they asked him not to promulgate this law, because according to them it will undermine the status of Romanian as the official language of the country. As formulated by Erika Benkő, the head of the Mikó Imre Minority Rights Legal Services Assistance: “I find it unacceptable that in the 21st century someone can be disturbed by the fact that others use their mother tongue. The Hungarian community in Transylvania represents a cultural asset for Romania. It is very hurtful and also unacceptable that there are people who would like to curb our basic rights.”
Source: Mikó Imre Minority Rights Legal Aids Service