President Juncker, President Tusk,
• having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union;
• having regard to the UN International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms
of Racial Discrimination;
• having regard to the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education;
• having regard to Art. 27, part of international customary law, in the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
• whereas all endeavours to reclaim their basic minority rights to assert their identity
through culture, language and religion, have been conducted by the above
Romanian speaking minorities in compliance with the Constitution of the host country,
in a peaceful, democratic and non-separatist spirit, acknowledging the citizenship of
the host country and all rights, responsibilities and obligation ensued;
I call on you to urgently propose an EU wide strategy for the protection of minorities
within the EU, the EU neighbourhood and any EU partner who benefits from the
support of all our citizens, taking into account:
• the establishment of a pan-European Working Group on minority rights within the EU
and the wider European region, comprised of representatives of all ethnic minorities;
• a new strategy for the protection of Member States’ minorities residing outside of the
EU borders, in order to allow monitoring and reacting to adverse developments such
as Ukraine‘s new Education Act adopted on the 5th of September 2017, which
promises to further decrease the rights of all of Ukraine’s national minorities through
what could be described as forced assimilation;
• the further development of the current strategy for combatting anti-EU propaganda
in the Eastern Neighbourhood, in order to target disinformation campaigns from
multiple sources not just Russian ones. This includes anti-Romanian and anti-EU
propaganda in the Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine where Romanians are often
labelled separatists or pro-Russian, in spite of any evidence thereof. To name just a
recent incident, citizens of Romania and Moldova were recently banned for 24 hours
from entering the latter country, which was obviously a violation of the EU-Moldova
visa regime. The group was on its way to Chișinău to peacefully mark the Centenary
of the Unification of Romania and Moldova within a cultural manifestation.
• the introduction of clear and just standards for the protection of minorities in the EU,
which should be implemented and verified through a distinct mechanism. Romania’s
current system, designed for ensuring minority rights (freedom to express and promote
identity, culture, language, religion; an allocated state budget; guaranteed political
representation), could serve as an excellent starting point.
• requesting all non-EU partners, and especially candidate countries to offer a similar
level of protection to their own minorities.
President Juncker, President Tusk,
I believe that the current status of the EU as well as the values and principles it is built
on, not only allow but oblige the European Institutions to take a stand regarding the
dire situation of these Romanian communities briefly presented above. All the abuses
and breaches of human rights have been duly documented by our co-nationals and
all evidence may be consulted in detail upon request.
In the spirit of an ever closer and wider Union, of an ever closer collaboration and
friendship among the European peoples, and in order to uphold freedom, unity in
diversity and reciprocity as core values of our European project, I call on you today to
take all necessary steps to protect all our minorities outside of the EU, to protect all
minorities in all partner countries.
Two worrying concepts still exist at the level of minorities in historical regions and
even emergent expat communities in the EU: the guilt of having been born
somewhere and the courage to admit you were born there. In 21st century
Europe, in 2018, the European Year of Cultural Heritage, when we commemorate
100 years since the end of WWI, 60 years on from the EU’s founding Treaties,
there should be no place for such guilt, no need for such courage.
We await an early, and we trust a favourable reply.
Vice-President of the Committee on Culture and Education, European Parliament