Two days ago the Romanian Parliament adopted a law about adopting and using the flags of the municipalities and counties. Although Romania ratified the European Charter of Local Self-Government, this law stipulates that these flags should be adopted by the Government, establishes a series of restrictions in using them and severe penalties (up to 2300 euros) for those who do not comply with its provisions. And what is really shocking: it also stipulates, that if one uses another flag than those adopted by the government (without making it clear where, when and in what circumstances), than besides that it will be fined, that flag will be confiscated.
It is obvious, that this law is not in accordance with Article 8 of the above mentioned Charter, which means, that it breaks also the Constitution of the country, as article 11 of the Constitution stipulates, that Romania commits herself to fulfill accurately and with good faith her international obligations.
Having in mind the more and more intense war of the Romanian authorities against the flag of Szeklerland (also mentioned in the last ECRI-Report), in our view this law is not aimed to regulate the issue of the flags of the local and regional authorities, but to give a legal background to that war. With this law adopted, the authorities can make a step forward, and not only harass, but also fine people and local authorities using that flag. This explains also the provision regarding the confiscation of the flags.
Today we turned to the president of the country, asking him not to promulgate this law, and to the Ombudsman, asking him to file a complain against this law to the Constitutional Court. We hope that they will comply with their official duty, but on the other hand we have to admit, that as the Romanian authorities are treating recently the minority issue, we also have serious concerns.
Sepsiszentgyörgy/Sf-Gheorghe, the 15th of May 2015
The press office of the Szekler National Council