Education

Verdict: Romanian graduation exams do not discriminate against Hungarians

The European Court of Human Rights has decided: Romanian graduation exams do not discriminate against Hungarian students.

According to the decision of the European Court of Human Rights, Romanian graduation exams (which dictates entry into universities in Romania) do not discriminate against Hungarian students in Romania. Many Hungarians from Romania have filed complaints to the Human Rights Court in Strasbourg, stating that students whose mother tongue is Hungarian are at a disadvantage because minority students have to prepare for an extra exam, unlike students whose mother tongue is Romanian. In the lawsuit Adam and others vs. Romania, five of seven judges rejected the complaint, while two of them, one Hungarian and one Romanian judge, Péter Paczolay and Iulia Moțoc, saw it as valid.

The 5/2 rejection draws attention to the fact that the graduation exam in the mother tongue of the minorities adheres to a law meant to defend national minorities, a law that obliges Romania to make this exam possible to Hungarian students in Romania as well. So, it is true that students belonging to a minority have one additional exam they must prepare for, but according to the European Court of Human Rights, they chose this consciously and willingly. According to the reasoning behind the ruling, the Romanian State, through this extra exam, recognizes minority needs and provides the right to them to learn in their minority language and also have a graduation exam in that language.

The judges rejecting the complaint also added that the organization of the exams does not fall into the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights because an international judicial body is not capable of handling any underlying problems of the Romanian graduation exam system, as this is an arena for local professionals. In court, Jon Fridrik Kjølbro (Denmark) was presiding; the other four judges, who also rejected the discrimination complaint per the abovementioned arguments are the following: Faris Vehabović (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Branko Lubarda (Serbia), Carlo Ranzoni (Liechtenstein), Jolien Schukking (Netherlands).

Featured image: Mediafax.ro

Author: Blanka Székely