European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)

Fourth report on Romania [en] - [fr] –[Ro]

Press Release – 03.06.2014

Romanian version

Council of Europe’s Anti-Racism Commission publishes new report on Romania

Strasbourg, 03.06.2014 - The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) today published its fourth report on Romania. ECRI’s Chair, Mr Christian Ahlund, noted progress as well as a number of outstanding issues, such as the problematic application of the legislation on religious freedom and the slow implementation of strategies for Roma integration.

The setting up of an advisory Council of the Churches and Religious Denominations to prevent conflicts between different religious communities is a positive development. So is the amendment of the Criminal Code which has made racist motivation an aggravating circumstance for all offences. The People's Advocate can now examine petitions by legal persons that could not have complained to him before. Several measures have been taken to combat prejudice against the Roma; and the number of police officers belonging to national/ethnic minorities has increased.

However, various religious associations continue having difficulties in obtaining official recognition and registration, despite a new law. There is still no act regulating the status of national minorities. Nor is there a single institution that systematically collects data on the breach of criminal law provisions against racism. In addition, information indicates that the judiciary could enforce these provisions more forcefully. More funding is needed for the National Council for Combating Discrimination to be able to function adequately. Finally, stigmatising statements against Roma are common in political discourse.

In its report, ECRI has made a number of recommendations to the authorities, among which the following three require priority implementation and will be revisited by ECRI in two years’ time:

  • the general public should be informed about the criminal law provisions against racism and instances which can provide redress and assistance;
  • a comprehensive data-collection system should be devised on the application of criminal law provisions against racism;
  • strong impetus should be given to the Strategy on the Inclusion of the Roma Minority and all obstacles to its implementation should be removed and sufficient funds allocated.

The report, including Government observations, is available here. It was prepared following ECRI’s contact visit to Romania in March 2013 [Press release] and takes account of developments up to 5 December 2013.

ECRI is a human rights body of the Council of Europe, composed of independent experts, which monitors problems of racism, xenophobia, antisemitism, intolerance and discrimination on grounds such as “race”, national/ethnic origin, colour, citizenship, religion and language (racial discrimination); it prepares reports and issues recommendations to member States.

For more information on ECRI: www.coe.int/ecri

Press contact: Stefano Valenti, Tel: +33 (0)3 90 21 43 28, stefano.valenti@coe.int