On the 18th of September, the Bucharest Court of Appeal has discusssed in substance Izsák Balázs’s application. The president of the Szekler National Council has turned to the National Anti-Discrimination Council, against Prime Minister Victor Viorel Ponta, President Traian Basescu, Deputy Prime Minister Liviu Dragnea and former Chairman of the Senate Crin Antonescu, because they previously declared, that the creation of a region having Hungarian majority as part of Romania’s administrative reform is out of the question. The Anti-Discrimination Council led by Asztalos Csaba rejected the complaints on the grounds that the freedom of expression is a fundamental human right, and fundamental human rights apply also to the public institutions of the state.
Considering that the opinion of the state leaders related to the administrative reorganization of Romania, according to which Romania’s ethnic Hungarian citizens are - due to their mother tongue and Hungarian self identity – not capable to manage the territories they inhabit, and as such, these areas should be assimilated into administrative regions having Romanian majority - by force if necessary - is seriously discriminatory, and contrary to standards of international law, as well as Romania’s international commitments, Izsák Balázs has challenged this decision at the Court of Appeal in Bucharest. After two postponements, the discussion of the case took place yesterday. The court has rejected all the procedural objections of the defendants, but also rejected Izsák Balázs’s request that the court should consult with the European Court of Justice, requesting interpretation of the provisions of Regulation 2000/43/EC. According to this directive, if an apparently neutral provision, criterion or practice would put persons of a racial or ethnic origin at a particular disadvantage compared with other persons, that is considered indirectly discriminatory and as such, prohibited. In Romania, this directive has been implemented through Governmental Ordinance no. 137/2003, which punishes any active or passive behavior, which affects adversely or results in the unjust, unfair or degrading treatment of a person, group of people or community, compared to other individuals, groups or communities.
Kincses Előd, the lawyer representing the applicant, pointed out the contradictions in the defendants’ tens of page long response documents, and called the court’s attention to the fact that the defendant state leaders are preparing to revoke a right which even Law 2/1968, adopted by the communist dictatorship has recognized, namely, that the ethnic criteria and cultural connections of the local population should be taken into account during the delimitation of administrative regions.
First degree verdict of the court is expected on October the 2nd.
Press service of the Szekler National Council
Sfantu Gheorghe/Sepsiszentgyörgy, the 19th of September 2014