Emergency decree modified to facilitate minority language rights

The Romanian government has modified and clarified the language used in the emergency decree modifying the administrative law adopted just a week ago. The fresh modifications give more power to local authorities so they can decide the use of minority languages in the administered units, even in municipalities where the minorities make up less than 20% of the inhabitants, the spokesperson for the government said in a briefing with the press yesterday.

While the 20% threshold previously established by the administrative law remains in place, guaranteeing the right to use of the minorities’ mother tongue when dealing with authorities in settlements where the threshold is reached, the most important update in the freshly modified emergency decree is that it cedes the right for decision on the matter to local authorities. The latter must now decide on the application of minority language rights in settlements where the minorities do not reach the 20% threshold, Nelu Barbu, spokesperson for the government said.

Other modifications involve clarification of language: for example, the “bilingual” term has been replaced with “in Romanian and in the language of minorities,” which essentially gives legal background for multilingual settlement entrance and exit signs, and inscriptions.

On the other hand, the RMDSZ isn’t completely satisfied with the modifications, because “the government would abolish the principle of acquired rights for the mother tongue use adopted in 2006,” the comment sent to TransylvaniaNow reads. The RMDSZ will analyze the final version of the document, which will come to effect only after its publication in the Official Journal of Romania.

Title image: Korond parish hall. Source: Székelyhon.ro

Author: István Fekete