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Legislation Impacting Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Radicalisation Efforts

Legislation Impacting Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Radicalisation Efforts

Article 1 of the Constitution of Romania declares Romania a unitary nation state by preventing the possibility of establishing national autonomy. Article 37 of the Constitution directly prohibits the activities of parties for creating such autonomies. Article 148 prohibits the revision of provisions of the Constitution regarding the nationality, unity and inseparability of the Romanian state, territorial integrity and the official language.

This does not mean that Romania does not recognise national minorities. Article 6 of the Constitution states: “the State recognizes and guarantees to persons belonging to national minorities the right to preserve, develop and express their ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identity”. In the Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review of the UN General Assembly on Romania, the country's delegation stated that Romania considers the protection of the culture and identity of national minorities as a key priority. Moreover, the Romanian authorities recognize the representation of national minorities in the parliament and in local government. It is the lack of a legal way to change the unitary nature of the state, which indirectly is against the interests of the Hungarian minorities and their representative political parties.

Additionally, in February 2012, the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Romania adopted a by-law - the rules of providing social assistance in accordance with the Act № 292 “On Social Assistance”. According to the regulations the right to social benefits is denied to those who are not listed in the lists of taxpayers, as well as to anyone owning precious jewellery or more than 100 grams of gold, artwork, expensive china or crystal, furs and other valuables. Despite the denials of Romanian officials, this law is implicitly directed against the Roma, as most of them are not in the lists of taxpayers and gold ornaments are their essential attribute, are handed down to next generations, worn with pride and never sold.

The new Civil Procedural Code, which came into force on the 15th of February 2013, limited the grounds on which the issue of eviction may be considered in court with of property or the expiration of the lease agreement. This hits the Roma, who usually do not have any documents regarding ownership. There are restrictions for religious confessions – to register they must be active for at least 12 years and unite at least 20,000 believers. Public insults and slander towards a person or group of people on the basis of race, colour, language, religion, nationality or national background, ethnicity is not prohibited by criminal law as insults or slander are not considered crimes according to Romanian laws.

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