Copyright CEMO - 2013
In 2007, the Civic Engagement Movement launched a monitoring project, as part of the Bilingualism Program. The objective is the inspection and analysis of minority language usage in public institutions. The ratification of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages by Romania in law no.282/2007 allows and urges usage of minority languages in both local and decentralized public institutions in those settlements where the minority forms more than 20% of the total residents.
Constitution of Romania, Article 120, Paragraph 2:
"In those administrative-territorial units in which the number of citizens belonging to national minorities have a significant weight, the use of that national minority language is ensured both in written and in oral relations with the local government authorities and with the decentralized public services; as per the conditions provided by the organic law."
Decision nr. 1.206 from 27 November 2001 regarding the Law of Local Public Administration nr. 215/2001, Paragraph 19, Article 2, that states:
"Authorities of public and local administrations, public institutions subordinated to them as well as decentralized public services, ensure the use of mother tongue in their relationships with national minorities, in those administrative-territorial units in which the percentage of citizens belonging to national minorities are over 20%; all according to the Constitution, the present law and the international treaties to which Romania is party."
Article 2, paragraph (2) and Article 8, paragraph (1) and paragraph (2) from the GD no. 1206/2001
"In relations with local public administrative authorities, citizens that belong to a certain national minority, and form more than 20% in a territorial-administrative district, have the right to let be known in mother tongue, the agenda of local or county counsil meetings, and the decisions accepted by these as well."
European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages adopted by the Act No. 2007/282
Part II - Objectives and principles pursued in accordance with Article 2, paragraph 1
Article 7 - Objectives and principles
"1. In respect of regional or minority languages, within the territories in which such languages are used and according to the situation of each language, the Parties shall base their policies, legislation and practice on the following objectives and principles:
a.the recognition of the regional or minority languages as an expression of cultural wealth;
b.the respect of the geographical area of each regional or minority language in order to ensure that existing or new administrative divisions do not constitute an obstacle to the promotion of the regional or minority language in question;
c.the need for resolute action to promote regional or minority languages in order to safeguard them;
d.the facilitation and/or encouragement of the use of regional or minority languages, in speech and writing, in public and private life;
e.the maintenance and development of links, in the fields covered by this Charter, between groups using a regional or minority language and other groups in the State employing a language used in identical or similar form, as well as the establishment of cultural relations with other groups in the State using different languages;
f.the provision of appropriate forms and means for the teaching and study of regional or minority languages at all appropriate stages;
g.the provision of facilities enabling non-speakers of a regional or minority language living in the area where it is used to learn it if they so desire;
h.the promotion of study and research on regional or minority languages at universities or equivalent institutions;
i.the promotion of appropriate types of transnational exchanges, in the fields covered by this Charter, for regional or minority languages used in identical or similar form in two or more States.
2.The Parties undertake to eliminate, if they have not yet done so, any unjustified distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference relating to the use of a regional or minority language and intended to discourage or endanger the maintenance or development of it. The adoption of special measures in favour of regional or minority languages aimed at promoting equality between the users of these languages and the rest of the population or which take due account of their specific conditions is not considered to be an act of discrimination against the users of more widely-used languages."