Dear Mr. Buquicchio!
We highly appreciate Your speech delivered in Strasbourg last week, in which you made it clear for the Ukrainian authorities, that the documents of the Council of Europe must be respected when amending the constitution of the country. On the other hand please allow us to make an observation: although you mentioned European examples to sustain your position regarding Ukraine and regions that should gain special status, You were speaking only about the eastern regions, where armed conflicts broke out. We suppose, that You don’t know, that the population of a western region, with an overwhelming Rusin (not Russian) majority claimed for special status in an official referendum in 1991. Mentioning them along with Luhansk and Donetsk would make it clear for anybody, that special status is the solution (as You mentioned), for all such situations, not only for those regions where armed conflicts broke out.
We are aware, that the Council of Europe - along with all democratic countries - is interested in preventing conflicts, because after a conflict rises, solving it is much more problematic. Unfortunately this is not the case in all CE member-states. In this respect let us bring to Your attention an official document of the Romanian government, the draft of the new national security strategy for the period 2015-2020 (http://www.mai.gov.ro/documente/transparenta/SNOSP%202015-2020%20.pdf). On the seventh page the following lines can be found (translated by us): Although the results of the last years and recent polls show, that the safety of the citizens and their confidence towards to the institution having to deal with order and public security has grown, there are still serious risk that endanger the climate of safety and the welfare of the population, like:
- racism, xenophobia, extremism and other forms of intolerance, aiming to obtain autonomy on ethnic criteria for some regions;
The Szekler people is fighting since 2003 for the autonomy of Szeklerland only with peaceful, and democratic means, in accordance with the relevant documents of the Council of Europe. Considering this a public safety risk and trying to tackle it with the authority of the state, maybe even with the use of force, can easily lead to an escalation of the situation, and we are interested in avoiding this.
Dear Mr. President!
As you know, Romania is in the middle of a constitutional reform. We consider that it would be expedient and useful, if You personally, and the Venice Commission - as an important body of the Council of Europe - would make it clear for the Romanian authorities, that what You mentioned related to Ukraine and its regions aiming for special status also applies for Romania and Szeklerland. We consider that doing so you could contribute to the peaceful solution of an almost hundred years old problem and to the deepening of democracy in Romania.
Marosvásárhely/Tg-Mures, the 31st of March 2015
President of the Szekler NationalCouncil