DIPLOMACY

Minorities’ rights on the agenda of ForMin Melescanu’s meeting with the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Zannier

Foreign Affairs Minister Teodor Melescanu met on Tuesday with High Commissioner on National Minorities of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Lamberto Zannier, context in which the two officials talked about the rights of national minorities, as well as about the risk of extremist and xenophobic trends re-emerging on the European continent.

According to a release of the Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE), the meeting with Ambassador Lamberto Zannier took place within a visit that the OSCE official paid to Romania, at the invitation extended by the head of the Romanian diplomacy.

“The meeting occasioned a deep exchange of opinions on the issue related to the protection and promotion of the national minority rights, the role and place of the autonomous institution of the High Commissioner on National Minorities of the OSCE in protecting the rights of minorities, as well as the topic of the risks of extremist and xenophobic currents re-emerging on the European continent, that question the fundamental human rights,” the quoted source showed.

Teodor Melescanu underscored, during the discussions, the importance that Romania grants to the protection of the rights of persons belonging to the national minorities of our country, highlighting that the Romanian model in respect to the treatment of national minorities has imposed as an example at European level.

Moreover, the Foreign Minister emphasised on the “constructive and balanced” approach of the Romanian side in the context of celebrating the Centennial, with an emphasis on the role of national minorities in building the modern Romanian state, the release mentioned.

According to the quoted source, the talks were also aimed at observing the rights of persons belonging to the Romanian minorities residing in the neighboring countries of Romania.

“In this context, the two high officials exchanged opinions over the developments in the Western Balkans, in view of the concerns of the High Commissioner on National Minorities of the OSCE. Also tackled was the situation of the Romanians in Serbia, with the Romanian Foreign Minister emphasising on the importance of the undivided observance of this persons’ rights to education, mass-media and religious service in their mother tongue. Furthermore, also expressed was the interest of the Romanian side to continue a bilateral dialogue on the Romanian minority of Serbia issue, using the existing instruments, namely reactivating the Joint Bilateral Committee on the minorities issue. The exchange of views also included the analysis on the situation of the Romanians in Hungary and the specific problems that these persons are confronted with, as well as the interest of the Romanian side to guarantee the observance of the rights and promotion of the Romanian national minority of Hungary, especially the right to education and mass-media in the Romanian language,” the quoted source reveals.

Within the meeting, also discussed was the dialogue that Romania and Germany carry out within the Joint Romanian-German Committee on the issue of German ethnics of Romania and the issue of Romanians in Ukraine, in the context of the latest legislative modifications regarding the education in the state language and in the minority languages of this country.

The High Commissioner on National Minorities of the OSCE also had a meeting with State Secretary Dan Neculaescu, in which the latter underscored the Romanian side approach aims, through a sustained dialogue, to identify a sustainable solution in respect to protecting and promoting the right to education in the mother tongue of the persons belonging to the Romanian minorities of Ukraine, in accordance with the international obligations assumed by Ukraine.

“In this context, State Secretary Dan Neculaescu voiced hope that the authorities in Kiev will undertake the assessment of the High Commissioner on National Minorities of the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the Venice Commission, the legal norms that have an impact over the rights of persons belonging to the Romanian minority, including the implementation legislation of the article 7 of the Education Law, prior to their adoption. Within the discussion on the security situation of Ukraine, the Romanian official underscored Romania’s support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” the release mentions.

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