The minister stated that in Europe there are 12 to 15 million Roma that do not have Romanian citizenship so that the issue of their integration is not solely Romania’s concern.
Romanian Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean stated yesterday at a press conference in Nadlac, where he took part in an event dedicated to the locality’s Slovak community (the largest in the country – editor’s note), that “the stories told in other countries about the billions upon billions of Euros put at Romania’s disposal for the social integration of the Roma” are not true and the states that truly received “billions” should be asked how they used the money, Mediafax informs. According to the Foreign Minister, Romania received EUR 500 M for social inclusion (which includes the integration of the Roma) in the 2007-2013 framework, not billions of Euros “as it is allegedly told in some European countries.” At the same time, Corlatean pointed out that Europe has 12 to 15 million Roma that do not have Romanian citizenship, so that the issue of integrating them does not concern solely Romania.
On the other hand, Titus Corlatean criticized the proposals made by some “Hungarian politicians that have a nationalist extremist rhetoric” concerning ethnic-based autonomy, stating that Romania will maintain the European model of protecting minorities without “enclaves” on the country’s territory. Corlatean stated that according to European Council reports Romania has fulfilled all commitments concerning the respect for minority rights, “which is not something very often seen at European level.” “We can assure the preservation of a minority’s national identity without being tempted to resort to models that infringe European standards. And here I am very clearly talking about all those ideas that concern the promotion of collective rights, of territorial autonomies based on ethnic criteria or, more recently, of protectorates. Ideas that have a somber resonance in the history of Europe,” the minister said. He added that what Romania did in the last 20 years in what concerns the protection of national minorities was the right thing, claiming that “autonomy formulas based on ethnic criteria flagrantly infringe European standards.” Corlatean added that “territorial autonomy based on ethnic criteria and the creation of enclaves on the Romanian territory” would not solve the Hungarian minority’s problems. “What (some politicians – editor’s note) do is not in the interest of their own minority.”
At the same time, he stated that Romania is not giving up the project of erecting Andrei Saguna’s statute in Gyula, Hungary, even though the Hungarian authorities are invoking “all kinds of pretexts” despite an agreement reached with Premier Viktor Orban. “We will continue our steps, because when you make a promise we believe it is correct and European for it to be kept,” Corlatean stated.
Present at the event, the Slovak Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Miroslav Lajcak stated that his country will recognize dual citizenship only if there is a standard European model, otherwise Slovakia decides what is good for its citizens.