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Romania’s governing program will widen national minorities’ rights so that they can preserve their cultural and ethnic identity, Prime Minister Emil Boc said in early January, local media reports. Asked whether the governing program includes a new law regarding national minorities, Boc said there is no new law, but a normative act regarding national minorities, which takes into account the Constitution and the Venice Commission.


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Kelemen Hunor, UDMR presidential candidate, officially launched his campaign on October 16, in Miercurea Ciuc. His message focuses on identity and autonomy: “our common dream, wish and will” is preserving our identity, language and obtaining regional territorial autonomy for the region where the majority population is represented by Hungarians.


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Florin Cioaba, the so called king of the Roma, attended last week in Tg. Mures a seminar on minorities, organized by the Bernady Gyorgy Cultural Foundation. In an interview, Cioaba explained why the Roma don’t have their own parliamentary group and the reason for supporting President Traian Basescu at the presidential elections.


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„Even if you were born later, open your mind to the memories you inherited from your ancestors. You will feel pain, but you will not be ashamed. The shame will be left in the past”. This is the message of Elie Wiesel, at the inauguration of the Holocaust Monument in Bucharest. The monument commemorates the victims of fascism – Jews and Roma.  The initiative of building this monument comes from the Ministry of Culture and Cults, at the International Commission’s for Holocaust Study in Romania recommendation – the Wiesel Commission. The monument was created by the sculptor Peter Jacobi.


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Two recent studies conducted by SOROS showed that the employment measures implemented by the Romanian authorities have very low efficiency because of ethnic discrimination, of employees’ reticence and of the high level of qualification courses. On the other hand, the women from Roma communities consider themselves inferior compared with men, but the education and participation on labor market degree, determine another gender and domestic structures in Roma families.


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Ethno-Cultural Diversity Resource Center (CRDE) launched on Tuesday, September 28, 2009, the report entitled “Monitoring the implementation of the European Regional and Minority Languages Chart”.  The report analyzes how Romania implemented the provisions of the European Chart of Regional and Minority Languages regarding mass media. The Chart was adopted in 1992 in Strasbourg and was ratified by the Romanian Parliament by Law no.282/2007.


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UDMR proposed several amendments to the Education Law. Boc Cabinet took on responsibility for this law last Tuesday, September 15. Most of the amendments refer to education in mother tongue, especially to education in Hungarian language.


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Apparently in opposition, because there were two separate meetings, in fact unified, because both organizations had as main discussion subject the issue of autonomy. UDMR and Hungarians from Transylvania National Council in Miercurea Ciuc and Hungarian Civic Party and Szecklers’ National Council in Odorheiu Secuiesc organized meetings approaching as main issue Szcklers’ Land autonomy.


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When they have to go to school, many Roma prefer to hide their ethnicity.  The discrimination in schools forces many Roma graduates of the 8th grade to choose the open competition with the Romanians when they apply for high school, despite the fact that they have special places reserved, as an affirmative measure.  They do this in order to demonstrate that they are as good or even better prepared than the majority.



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Human and financial significant sacrifices, national minorities and new emigrants, reinvented traditions and a difficult definition. This is the way Volker Reiter could characterize this year’s edition of the ProEtnica festival. It is very difficult to organize for nine years this intercultural festival, but he doesn’t regret. Without ProEtnica, the Romanian diversity would be poorer.


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Proetnica Festival at its ninth edition cannot be considered just a simple event anymore. Over 850 representatives of the 20 national ethnic minorities participated at the 9 days ProEtnica Festival, presenting their traditional costumes and folklore, books’ launching, films, concerts, theater shows, workshops where the public can learn the traditional manufacture, etc. During the festival “Agora of Ethnic Communities” was published in four editions. So, ProEtnica is already a tradition.


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A conflict latent for a while broke out two weeks ago between Hungarians and Roma in Sincraieni, after a Hungarian was stubbed by a Roma. Several Roma organizations organized a protest in front of the UDMR headquarters in Bucharest, but the UDMR leaders appreciated that this protest should not have taken place in front of their headquarters, but in front of state authorities, and that it is not an interethnic conflict, but a social and economical one.


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Romania and Hungary signed the Protocol of the 7th session of the Hungarian-Romanian Expert Committee on coordinating the national minorities’ issues. The document signed last Tuesday, July 14, stipulates the need of imperative measures to be taken by Hungary in order to ensure the parliamentary representation of Romanians, but the parties could not agree on Hungarians’ representation in the Romanian local administrative structures.



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Baltesti village is located at less than 100 km from Bucharest. Here, “Habitat for Humanity” association together with the Soros Foundation Romania and the local administration decided to develop the project “A house for the future”. The project is meant to create a pattern for supporting the communities leaving in poor conditions in Romania and is targeting the Roma families.


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The Democratic Union of ethnic Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) on Sunday announced that Kelemen Hunor, 42, will run in presidential elections in the autumn on the party’s ticket. According to Kelemen the present presidential candidacy is totally different form what UDMR did till now: this candidacy is not about goals, but about messages.


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Two boys aged 15 and 16 have been charged in connection with the intimidation of Romanian families in south Belfast, BBC reports. Both have been charged with provocative behaviour. The 15-year-old is also charged with intimidation. They were arrested in the wake of vandalism and attacks on the homes of more than 100 Romanian migrants, all of Roma ethnicity.


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At the EP elections on Sunday, June 7 DAHR succeeded to mobilize 8,92% of the voters, obtaining 431,739 votes. This is the best result at elections of the Democratic Alliance of the Hungarians from Romania after 1990. The three Hungarian MEPs are bishop Tokes Laszlo, Sogor Csaba and Iuliu Winkler, all of them having before too a mandate.



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The National Council for Combating Discrimination (CNCD) encountered last year 71 cases of discrimination from the 867 petitions received. The discriminatory language and behavior in public were obvious present, according to the report published on April 28. The CNCD member determined that 9% from the overall petitions received are discrimination situations. As a result, five penalties were applied, of an overall amount of 8.700 lei, 25 warnings and 39 recommendations.


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Roma situation in EU countries is a problem that is still waiting to be solved. The European institutions are moving slowly, despite the fact that at all levels clear positions were expressed. Meanwhile, according to an European poll recently published, half of the Roma declare themselves discrimination victims regarding the employment, housing and education, and a quarter of them says that they were victims of aggression, threats or harassment during the last 12 months.


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The protests that started in Chisinau after the April 5 elections had consequences in Bucharest as well. The aggressive reaction of the Moldovan authorities toward Romania, which they accused of involvement into the protest actions, determined Bucharest to modify the legislation on granting the Romanian citizenship.



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On April 8, in the past, the Transylvanian Roma celebrated the "day of the horses" (the horses were taken out from their winter shelter). This date received a new significance at the beginning of the 70's. At the first Roma World Congress, on April 8 1971, the Roma nations' symbols were chosen: the flag and hymn and on April 8 the International Roma Day was proclaimed.


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Discrimination in the media is a provoking subject.  Present to discuss it were: on one side the Roma minority’s representatives and on the other one the journalists. In the middle, PER Regional Center and the National Council of Audiovisual.  The result was a debate where the Roma said that sometimes the press discriminates, and the journalists opined that in principle they reflect the reality.


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The Democratic Union of Hungarians from Romania (UDMR) and the National Council of Hungarians from Romania (NCHR) have announced publicly the joint list of the candidates for the European Parliament;s elections. On the first seats, the eligible ones are Laszlo Tokes (CNMT) and former Euro-parliamentarians Iuliu Winkler and Sogor Csaba (UDMR).



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Nothing dramatic thou. The Hungarian President László Sólyom believes it is unfriendly the autoritary gesture of Romanian autorities to forbid the military plane landig in Romania, on March 15. In exchange, the Bucharest acussed the Hungarian President of lack of respect towards Romanian Constitution. Despite this roughness, the Romanian-Hungarian relations stay in a good shape.


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The Romanian Peasant Museum from Bucharest is hosting a photographs’ exhibition with and on Roma from Hungary, Slovenia, Romania, Poland and Ukraine, taken by Marina Obradovic. The exhibition is entitled SHUKAR, which in Romanes language means beautiful, good, reason for joy.


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Jurnalul National daily newspaper has recently published many racial comments following the newspaper's proposal for issuing a law by which the word “Roma” to be replaced by “gipsy”. The newspaper explains its approach by «increased number of crimes made by Roma in Italy but not only, as well as by associating those acts with Romanian people. In reply, many Roma and human rights organizations harshly criticized the initiative.


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Daniel Ganga is the first Roma orthodox Dean officially ordained by the Romanian Orthodox Church and who will be in charge with Roma ethnics from Bucharest and Ilfov. After 153 years from abolition of Roma slavery, the young priest states the BOR does not incriminates anymore and goes towards an orthodox culture with no ethnical color. 


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On February 20, there is the celebration of 153 years from adopting the Ruling law for Roma emancipation in Romanian Principality, the last official act by which Roma were set free (1856). This year, the ceremonies marked a premiere, as the first Roma ethnic theology was ordain deacon in our country.



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The recent appointment of the new chairman of the National Agency for Roma, Robert Laurentiu Iapornicu, received a lot of disagreement from Roma community from Romania. They sent a protest to the state institutions accusing of lack of transparency and communication in policies promotion designated to Roma.


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Voice 1: „We will never agree with territorial autonomy”. Voice 2: „But we believe that minorities need more rights”. Voice 1: „In Hungary Romanians are assimilated”. Voice 2: „We say Romania is not anymore a national state”. The voices of Romanian and Hungarian authorities sounded a bit discordant in the last week, but no major change is foreseen in the bilateral relations.


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A lecture program, a concert with the music of the camps, exhibitions and conferences dedicated to the International Day in the Memory of Holocaust Victims are organized on this week in the Capital. The Day was assigned for January 27 by the United Nations through the General Assembly resolution.


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Within the meeting of the central leadership of UDMR held at the end of the last week, it was established the agenda for the European Parliament preparations, and decided that the last measures will be taken in February. The Union declined the invitation made by the Europarlamentarian Tokes Laszlo to jointly participate to the elections. The invitation was considered unrealistic.



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Ethnic diversity. Inter-culturality. Ethnic minorities. How can one express more direct such words? Sometimes it is easier through dance, poems and music. This is how was on Wednesday, on national minorities day, when on stage went Maia Morgenstern as well some  children, wonderful and beautiful in their involvement and awkwardness.



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Romani CRISS organization celebrated, on December 20, the International Day of Human Rights by launching the report “Monitoring the application of measures against school segregation in Romania”, document pointing to increased segregation of the Roma students enrolled in the Romanian education system.


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The modification of the voting system did not bring major changes regarding the ethnical minorities represented in the Parliament. In addition to this, with two exceptions only, in the Deputy Chamber, the 18 national minorities will be represented by the same people.



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She was first a teacher, then a Romani teacher, and she is now inspector for minorities. Born on the 14th of December 1970 in the township Zece Prajini from the Iasi county, in a family of bear handlers fiddlers, Elena Motas leads a normal life. The unusual event was that, for just one day, Elena Motas was presented, for her involvement in the operation of two bilingual kindergartens (in Romani and in Romania), the Award for Human Rights from the Embassy of France in Romania.


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On November 26th, at the Peasant’s Club, the Romanian Peasant’s Museum, MTR and the Union of Armenians from Romania shall organize the reunion called “Chatting with the Armenians”. This is the last cultural evening in the series “The Neighbors Story’’, initiated by MTR in March. All ethnic groups living in Bucharest were reserved one evening when they brought in the best and the most beautiful things they had to share. Romanians, Germans, Armenians, Jews, Hungarians, Turks, French, Greeks, Roma, Italians, Aromunians and many others shaped yesterday’s and today’s’ Bucharest.



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How can you get from multiculturality to interculturality? This was the main question of the meeting organized by the Department for Interethnic Relations (DRI) and the Council of Europe, intended to find the best ways of promoting intercultural dialogue.


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The perpetrators of the devastation of the Jewish Cemetery from Soseaua Giurgiului, Bucharest, are students who admitted that they ravaged the funeral monuments in order to shoot a movie called “Neighborhood stories”. "There were no anti-Semitic graffiti or writings”, Police said.


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We don’t match the reality” is the conclusion of a round table organized by Project on Ethnic Relations (PER) debating on the state’s role in providing proper housing conditions for the Roma communities. As long as the state promises homes for the Roma and the development strategies are just on paper, the real problems of these people are still ignored.


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The governments of Romania and Hungary convened in Szeged for their fourth joint meeting. The agenda included projects such as the high speed railroad Budapest - Bucharest - Constanta, the Nabucco project and the relief of the traffic at the common border, as well as other topics, like the situation of ethnic minorities.


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The situation of the Roma from Italy is not desperate. At least, according to the president of the Italian Council of Ministers, Silvio Berlusconi who, after the Romanian-Italian inter-governmental reunion from Villa Madama in Rome, announced that the government from the Peninsula is taking actions for the social inclusion of the Roma. The two countries shall conduct regular consultations regarding the implementation of the agreement on the situation of unaccompanied minors, signed this summer.


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Istvan Haller, member of the National Council for Combating Discrimination, who is on hunger strike since October 2nd, for observance of the ECHR decisions in the Hadareni case, stated that he ceases this kind of protest following the Government commitment to solve his demands.




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Istvan Haller, member of the National Council for Combating Discrimination went on hunger strike, requesting the government to meet its obligations in the Hadareni case. The executive body must provide funding for the construction of several homes and one industrial hall in Hadareni, a locality where Romanians and ethnic Roma got into a conflict 15 years ago.


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Convened on Saturday at the Council of the Union’s Representatives of Democratic Association of ethnic Hungarians in Romania (UDMR), in Tirgu-Mures, the UDMR leaders stated they were persuaded that, after the elections this autumn, they shall be again part of the government. But in order to meet this objective, they need to attract most of the ethnic Hungarians votes.



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There is a problem, how do we solve it? A general question and an answer yet to be given ended the first EU summit dedicated to the Roma, ever organized by the European Union. In Brussels, hundreds of officials from the European Commission, the member states, international organizations and NGOs active in the field of human rights, as well as representatives of the Roma communities discussed about solutions for a better integration and an improved living standard for the Roma communities. Everything was in line with the direction set in December 2007, when heads of state and government from the member states admitted, for the first time, that the situation of the Roma from Europe requires a special attention.


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The first European Roma Summit shall take place on the 16th of September, in Brussels, under the high patronage of Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, and the Council’s French Presidency. This summit shall bring together for the very first time high community and national decision makers, as well as the civil society.


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The National Council of Szecklers (CNS) asks the local authorities of the Covasna, Harghita and Mures counties to organize official referenda for the territorial autonomy of the “Szecklers’ County''. The referenda would be carried out on November 30th, on the same day as the parliamentary elections. But the chances to have that are low, both in legal terms and because of the quasi-general opposition. 


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Thousands of people, tourists and locals, curious about everything. Performances of music, traditional dances, films, fairs offering anything you could imagine, jazz and blues, serious debates, kurtos colacs or langosi. 21 ethnic communities participating. In brief, this was the eighth edition of ProEtnica, the festival of ethnic minorities from Romania.




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The medieval borough of Sighisoara turned into the Multicultural Fortress of Romania between the 21st and the 24th of August, with to the eighth edition of ProEtnica – the InterEthnic Festival. This year, ProEtnica brought together 830 participants from all national minorities and an estimated 25,000 visitors attended the event. The aim is to promote cultural diversity and develop a harmonious environment and interethnic interaction in Romania.


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Campanie PER de promovare a cunoasterii si acceptarii diversitatii

ethnophonie...
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Forum de discutii pe subiecte legate de minoritatile etnice din Romania...

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