Romania has a total of about 9,700,000 citizens living abroad, according to data sent by 70 Romanian diplomatic missions and centralized by the Ministry for Romanians everywhere.
Minister for Romanians everywhere Natalia Intotero presented on Wednesday the ministry’s activity report for the first half of 2019, as well as the first results of the questionnaires completed by 322 respondents – Romanian citizens and NGOs – from the diaspora and the historical communities.
The participants in the consultation said they would like to see more unity in the Romanian communities abroad, more possibilities to learn Romanian, and a better relationship with the Romanian authorities.
According to the ministry’s activity report, the exact number of Romanians living abroad is difficult to estimate because many do not establish their legal domicile in the host country.
The Ministry for Romanians everywhere informed in a release having applied for European funding via the Operational Programme ‘Administrative Capacity’ for conducting a sociological survey on the Romanian diaspora.
Minister Intotero also referred to the initiatives regarding the process of moving back home and social reintegration of the Romanian expats, mentioning that a relevant bill is also being drafted.
The Ministry for Romanians everywhere has a budget allocation of 13,468,000 lei this year for supporting the activities of Romanians everywhere and of their representative organisations, and has applied for an increase of the amount at the next budget revision. The non-reimbursable financing amounts to 5,478,000 lei, with 159 projects approved after the first session (5,372,378.50 lei) – 71 in the diaspora (2,477,708,50 lei), 58 in the historical communities (1,796,670.00 lei) and 30 in Romania (1,098,000.00 lei).
MRP and MAE to launch public service announcement campaign on elections next fall
Minister for Romanians Everywhere Natalia Intotero stated on Wednesday that the institution she leads will launch a public service announcement campaign alongside the Foreign Ministry.
The minister pointed out that public consultations have started and several suggestions from Romanians living abroad have been received.
“Regarding the upcoming period, the fact that a series of very important elections for Romanians are in store, I was happy to notice an ever-growing interest in voting, from one year to the next. Alongside the representatives of the Romanian Parliament, I took part in the drafting of the new electoral code. I have started consultations with Romanians living abroad. In the upcoming period, we will take part – alongside Foreign Ministry colleagues who have the prerogative to organise these elections and polling stations, and alongside Standing Electoral Authority representatives – in meetings with Romanians living abroad, to present to them the voting methods and how they can sign up for postal voting.”
Intotero added: “Later today, my colleagues will take part in a meeting with the representatives of the Standing Electoral Authority, to see the timetable of travels and the steps that must be taken.”
Referring to the bill on the social reinsertion of Romanians, she said it is almost finalised. “We must discuss in order to receive suggestions from our Government colleagues. We would like to forward it to our specialised colleagues in Parliament in early September.”
The link between local authorities and those who left abroad is very important, Intotero added, underscoring that Romanian expats must obtain information on the situation in their localities of origin.
The MRP’s budget for supporting the activities of Romanians everywhere and their representative organisations totals 13.468 million lei in 2019, of which 5.478 million lei have been allocated to projects.
159 projects have been approved following the first financing session (5,372,378.50 lei): 71 in the Diaspora (Italy, Spain, U.S., France, Greece, Belgium, Netherlands, etc.), 58 in historical communities (Republic of Moldova, Serbia, Ukraine, Albania, Bulgaria and Kazakhstan), and 30 in Romania.
Intotero announced that Bucharest will host the Forum of Romanians Everywhere in September this year.