The House Judiciary Committee and the House Administration Committee adopted on Tuesday a negative report on the bill tabled by the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR), which stipulates autonomy for the Szekely Land, a distinct status for national minorities and their representation within institutions.
The bill tabled by the UDMR stipulates that the representation of historical national minorities within local, national and European administrative institutions must be assured. Likewise, the bill stipulates that at the level of ministries the staff must be hired – including in leadership offices – proportionally to the number of persons who belong to historical national minorities.
The House Judiciary Committee and the House Administration Committee adopted on Tuesday a report rejecting the bill on the implementation of Subitem 1 of Point III of the Resolution adopted by the National Assembly in Alba Iulia on 1 December 1918. The report was adopted with 35 votes in favour and three against.
“The Alba Iulia Resolution of 1 December 1918 is part of the democratic traditions of the Romanian people, a fact proven by the importance given to that date. Thus, ever since 1990, December 1st has been proclaimed, by law, the national day of Romania, the Constitutional Assembly subsequently decreeing – and thus lifting to the rank of a constitutional provision, under Article 12(2), among national symbols – the fact that December 1st is the National Day of Romania. The document that was read back then stipulates generous social, electoral, economic, and interethnic cohabitation principles. These have not been adopted in the years since. We believe that, in the centenary year, the time has come for the principles that concern interethnic cohabitation to be transposed into law, just as they were formulated in the resolution adopted by the National Assembly: Full national freedom for all cohabitating peoples. Each people will hold trials, educate and administer itself in their language, through individuals from its bosom, and each people will receive the right of representation within the legislative bodies and at the governance of the country proportionally to the number of individuals that make it up. As a result, we have tabled a legislative initiative,” reads the substantiation of the bill.
The bill was tabled by 30 UDMR MPs.
“The present law regulates the transposition, into the legislation, of the provisions regarding the cohabitating peoples, included in the Alba Iulia Resolution of 1 December 1918. When the present law comes into force, each cohabitating people will hold trials, educate and administer themselves in their language and through individuals from their bosom, and each people will receive the right of representation within the legislative bodies and at the governance of the country proportionally to the number of individuals that make it up,” reads the bill.
Likewise, the bill offers the following translation of terms:
“Cohabitating peoples – the historical national minorities which were already living, in 1918, in the territories that became part of Romania after 1920.
“Historical national minorities – the Albanian, Armenian, Bulgarian, Czech, Croatian, Greek, Jewish, German, Italian, Macedonian, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Roma, Ruthenian, Serbian, Slovak, Tatar, Turkish and Ukrainian communities.
“Legislative bodies – the European Parliament, Romanian Parliament, county councils and local councils.”
The bill also stipulates that “at the level of ministries, as well as at the level of their decentralised public services, the personnel will be employed/appointed – including to leadership offices – proportionally to the number of persons that belong to historical national minorities at both national and local levels.”
The bill tabled by the UDMR will be put to the vote within the House, as the first Chamber notified, with the Senate set to have the last say.