Senator of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) Titus Corlatean announced that Romania’s delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will notify the Assembly for the organisation of a debate, in October, that would conclude with the adoption of a resolution for monitoring Ukraine in respect to observing minorities’ rights following the adoption of the new law of education by the Supreme Rada in Kiev.
“As chair of Romania’s Parliament Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), in close collaboration with all colleagues of the parliamentary groups, we made the decision to start the procedure to notify PACE, in order to get a debate in emergency procedure, an extraordinary debate in October, at the plenary session of PACE in Strasbourg, with the adoption of a simple resolution, including for monitoring Ukraine in respect to this matter. I urge my colleagues of the delegation to sign the motion in order to start the procedure and I ask these colleagues, through the European parliamentary groups to which they are bound, to obtain as many signatures as possible to support this demarche,” Corlatean said in a plenary session of Parliament on Wednesday.
He underscored that Romania endorses Ukraine’s demarche to join the EU, but drew attention that it would have to “scrupulously observe” the accession criteria.
Romanian Parliament passes declaration on Ukraine’s adoption of controversial education law
In a joint session on Wednesday, the Romanian Parliament unanimously passed a declaration on minorities rights in Ukraine following the adoption by Ukraine of a controversial education law in this country, calling for the current situation to be settled as quickly as possible.
According to the declaration, the Romanian Parliament is “watching with great concern and caution” the developments generated by the recent adoption by the Supreme Rada of Ukraine of the Law on Education, which “drastically limits the right to mother tongue education for Ukraine’s ethnic Romanians, which has aroused profound concern and worries in Romania.”
“Parliament is calling for a speedy settlement of the current situation by good faith action in a spirit of cooperation, through inclusive dialogue and strict compliance with European standards for the protection of national minorities, as well as the relevant multilateral and bilateral agreements to which Ukraine is a party,” according to the declaration.
The Romanian Legislature is drawing attention to the fact that “the protection up to European standards of the rights of persons belonging to national minorities, particularly the Romanian minority of Ukraine, which counts over 400,000 people, is a foundation of democratic construction in the spirit of European values embraced by the Ukrainian people, without which advancing towards the EU accession target set by the Ukrainian authorities would not be possible.”
“The Romanian Parliament is calling on the Supreme Rada, expressing its confidence that the Supreme Council will provide, as soon as possible, a legislative framework guaranteeing the protection of the rights of citizens belonging to the national minorities in Ukraine, starting with Romanian ethnics in this country, while paying special attention to the linguistic ones, that will respect the provisions of the relevant international conventions, prioritising the provisions of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, assisted by the European Commission for Democracy through Law of the Council of Europe (the Venice Commission) and the High Commissioner for National Minorities of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Part of this process, direct consultation with authorised leaders of national minorities, mainly of the ethnic Romanians in Ukraine, appears to be opportune and necessary.”
The Romanian Parliament is advocating the need for Ukraine’s presidential institution to get involved in a favorable settlement of the issue by resubmitting the education law to the Supreme Rada for reexamination, and it is also calling on the President and the Government of Romania to act firmly bilaterally and within the relevant international organisations to ensure adequate protection for the linguistic, cultural and religious identity of Romanian ethnics in Ukraine.
The declaration also mentions that a delegation of Romanian MPs will go to Ukraine to initiate a political dialogue with the relevant authorities in order to settle the situation against European standards.
“The Romanian Parliament is reconfirming its support for Ukraine’s European journey, while being convinced that the international standards for the protection of national minorities will be respected in the process,” says the declaration read out by MP Georgian Pop.
UDMR’s Korodi Attila: A country willful to join EU cannot act against European construction’s basics
The Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) believes that a country that wishes to join the European Union in a reasonable period of time cannot act against the very basics of the European construction, on Wednesday said this political formation’s Deputy Korodi Attila, in the Parliament’s plenary sitting.
‘Unfortunately, here we are in a moment where we need a tough stance on behalf of the Romanian Parliament and other institutions regarding the decision by the Ukrainian Parliament. The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has passed a new Education bill that is drastically limiting the right to education in one’s own mother tongue for the national minorities in the neighbor country, so it is dramatically limiting the access to education in the mother language of the Romanian minority there, too. Ukraine has crossed a very complicated period ever since the Maidan. (…) But, at the same time, step by step, it has eliminated the most important laws that were guaranteeing the ethnic minorities their keeping their national identity, it has annulled The law that allowed the use of the regional languages immediately after the new President was elected, it has radically changed the Education Law that practically doesn’t allow the learning of their mother tongue, nothing in addition to educate the youth belonging to the ethnic minorities in Ukraine, it has slipped from the fundamental principles of democracy, the rule of law and the guaranteeing of the human rights,’ the UDMR Deputy said.
According to Korodi, Ukraine after Russia has annexed Crimea, has been looking for international support both through bilateral reactions and by stressing the issues it is confronted with in its relationship with Russia within the international bodies – the Council of Europe, the OSCE, the UN, or by enhancing its connections with the European Union.
‘And yet the same country decides without hesitation to remove those provisions in the domestic legislation that are paramount to the ethnic minorities. There is no place for double standard. Romania cannot afford and must be firm in expressing its stance in this regard. One is not allowed to ask for support from the Council of Europe or other international institutions or one’s most important international partners to solve a conflict in one’s eastern part of the country and at the same time, one is deciding that at domestic level, one cancels those provisions that help it to find a peaceful solution to that conflict, bringing other ethnic minorities to desperation. The international agreements on human rights, the national minorities’ rights must be implemented in any country,’ Korodi Attila said.
He announced that the UDMR hails the decision of the Romanian delegation to PACE to demand for an emergency debate in the plenary reunion this October regarding the passing of the new Education Law in Ukraine.
“UDMR believes that any measure that brings new guarantees and tools to keeping the national identity of the minority ethnic communities is to be hailed and that no democracy, and this includes the Romanian democracy as well, should not be happy with states of affairs that create confusion and dissatisfaction from these communities. The barometer of democracy in a country is also the state of spirit where an ethnic minority finds itself at some point. (…) Never again was that important for the Romanian state to prove that it acts for the protection of the national minority of the local ethnic communities of Romania. In a united Europe, we all are minority, so that our fight for defending the rights of the national ethnic minorities, for the keeping of the national identity must be equally united. The UDMR is backing the adoption of the Declaration (the Romanian Parliament passed on Wednesday in this respect, ed. n.), the UDMR Deputy concluded.
ForMin Melescanu talks with Ukrainian counterpart about situation of schools providing education in Romanian language
Foreign Affairs Minister Teodor Melescau had a meeting on Tuesday with his Ukrainian counterpart Pavlo Klimkin on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly (UNGA72). The Romanian official voiced concern for the situation of Ukraine’s schools providing education in the Romanian language, according to a release of the Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE).
“The Romanian Minister voiced concern for the situation of Ukraine’s schools providing education in the Romanian language, following the adoption of the new law of education. The head of the Romanian diplomacy underscored the necessity of adopting some measures meant to ensure the observance of international norms and standards in the area and kept in mind, in this context, the Ukrainian official’s commitment that the implementation of the new law of education will be made with the consultation of the Romanian authorities and Romanian community in Ukraine, so that the level and quality of the education in the Romanian language won’t be affected by the new norms,” the MAE release mentions.
According to the quoted source, the two ministers have reviewed the situation of Eastern Ukraine, including from the perspective of sending a possible international mission for peacekeeping and agreed that any demarche must observe the territorial integrity of the Ukrainian state.