Today, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) published its fourth report on Romania. Romania has made great progress in the last years in safeguarding the rights of national minorities, but a lot of work still has to be done.
“Basically, it is the state authorities themselves that need to change their attitude in order to create a genuine and transparent framework and political will for granting the rights of minorities”, he said. Unfortunately, hate speech online and in the media still go unpunished in most of the cases and seem to be supported by large numbers of the majority population, Mr. Borbely warned.
“As the Romanian State has still not replaced the nation and identity building narratives developed by the communist regime, these still legitimate majority dominance and exclusion of those who are “different”, he explained, adding that this is why objective reports from international bodies may still constructively help direct Romanian society into the positive direction. “However, in order for real change to come from the inside”, Mr. Borbely said, “a change of paradigm is needed in Romania’s self understanding as a society -so that a mentality of tolerance can emerge, one based on the understanding that diversity is not a threat, but a wealth for every society, a source of innovation and development”.
Find out more on the ECRI report at: http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/ecri/Library/PressReleases/160-2014_06_03_Romania_en.asp