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March 6, 2021

Gov’t – ECHR talks on nationalized buildings reach the end

The Cabinet may ask Parliament for a vote of confidence.

The government has finished its talks with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) specialists on the draft law on the payment of damages to the former owners of nationalized buildings, being set to decide during today’s meeting the start of the procedures to assume responsibility for it in Parliament. The announcement was made by Premier Victor Ponta on Monday evening during a talk-show. “My colleagues have returned from Strasbourg and on Wednesday (today – editor’s note) we will assume responsibility on the law on retrocessions,” Ponta stated on RTV. According to a communiqué issued by the National Authority for the Restitution of Properties (ANRP), “the ECHR representatives expressed their satisfaction with the Romanian authorities’ efforts to equitably and unitarily solve the retrocession requests filed by citizens whose properties were confiscated by the communist regime. The Court’s representatives deemed that although the new draft law is extremely complex it will solve the problems that appeared as a result of implementing the previous laws on the issue of retrocession, laws issued in the last 20 years.” The members of the Romanian delegation explained the reasons that led to changing the principles and mechanisms of the retrocession process as was previously configured, and presented the new law’s procedures, both under the aspect of retrocession in kind and that of compensation by offering points that can be subsequently used, plots of land or cash.

The Romanian side reiterated that offering adequate moral and material reparations to the former owners was taken into account when adopting the new legislative framework, as well as the principle of maintaining the just balance between their interest and society’s general interests. ECHR representatives made several proposals about the draft law in what concerns the measures of finalizing the process of restitution, which, once implemented, will make the law efficient and easily applicable, ANRP pointed out. After integrating these proposals in the draft law the latter will be presented to the government for approval.

On March 20 the government asked ECHR for its agreement to extend by three weeks the deadline for the adoption of the new law on damages to be paid to the former owners of nationalized buildings (a draft that initially should have been adopted by April 12 – editor’s note), so that the law’s provisions can be discussed in detail.

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