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The constitution of Romania


The Constitution of Romania, approved by referendum on December 8, 1991, contains the following provisions, relevant for the rights of persons belonging to minorities:

Title I General principles

Article 4 Unity of the people and equality among citizens

(2) Romania is the common and indivisible homeland of all its citizens, without any discrimination on account of race, nationality, ethnic origin, language, religion, sex, opinion, political adherence, property or social origin.

Article 6 Right to identity

(1) The State recognizes and guarantees the right of persons belonging to national minorities, to the preservation, development and expression of their ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identity.

(2) The protecting measures taken by the Romanian State for the preservation, development and expression of the identity of persons belonging to national minorities shall conform to the principles of equality and non-discrimination in relation to the other Romanian citizens.

Article 13

In Romania, the official language is Romanian.

Title II Fundamental rights, freedoms and duties

Chapter I Common provisions

Article 16 Equality of rights

(1) Citizens are equal before the law and public authorities, without any privilege or discrimination.

Article 20 International human rights treaties

(1) Constitutional provisions concerning the citizens' rights and liberties shall be interpreted and enforced in conformity with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, with the covenants and other treaties Romania is a party to.

(2) Where any inconsistencies exist between the covenants and treaties on fundamental human rights Romania is a party to, and internal laws, the international regulations shall take precedence.

Chapter II Fundamental rights and freedoms

Article 29 Freedom of conscience

(1) Freedom of thought, opinion, and religious beliefs shall not be restricted in any form whatsoever. No one shall be compelled to embrace an opinion or religion contrary to his own convictions.

(2) Freedom of conscience is guaranteed; it must be manifested in a spirit of tolerance and mutual respect.

(3) All religions shall be free and organized in accordance with their own statutes, under the terms laid down by law.

(4) Any forms, means, acts or actions of religious enmity shall be prohibited in the relationships among the cults.

(5) Religious cults shall be autonomous from the State and shall enjoy support from it, including the facilitation of religious assistance in the army, in hospitals, prisons, homes and orphanages.

(6) Parents or legal tutors have the right to ensure, in accordance with their own convictions, the education of the minor children whose responsibility devolves on them.

Article 30 Freedom of expression

(7) Any defamation of the country and the nation, any instigation to a war of aggression, to national, racial, class or religious hatred, any incitement to discrimination, territorial separatism, or public violence shall be prohibited by law.

Article 32 Right to Education

(1) The right to education is provided for by the compulsory general education, by education in high schools and vocational schools, by higher education, as well as other forms of instruction and post-graduate courses for refreshing education.

(2) Education of all grades shall be in Romanian. Education may also be conducted in a foreign language of international use, under the terms laid down by law.

(3) The right of persons belonging to national minorities to learn their mother tongue, and their right to be educated in this language are guaranteed; the ways to exercise these rights shall be regulated by law.

(4) Public education shall be free, according to the law.

(8) The State shall ensure the freedom of religious education, in accordance with the specific requirements of each religious cult. (...)

Article 37 Right of association

(1) Citizens may freely associate into political parties, trade unions and other forms of association.

(2) Any political parties or organizations which, by their aims or activity, militate against political pluralism, the principles of a State governed by the rule of law, or against the sovereignty, integrity or independence of Romania shall be unconstitutional.

Chapter III Fundamental duties

Article 50 Faithfulness towards the country

(1) Faithfulness towards the country is sacred.

Article 51 Observance of the Constitution and laws

The observance of the Constitution, of its supremacy and of the laws is binding.

Title III Public authorities

Chapter I Parliament

Article 59 Election of the Chambers

(2) Organizations of citizens belonging to national minorities, which fail to obtain in the elections the number of votes for representation in Parliament, have the right to one Deputy seat each, under the terms of the electoral law. Citizens of a national minority are entitled to be represented by one organization only.

Chapter V Public administration

Section 2 Local public administration

Article 19 Basic principles

Public administration in territorial-administrative units is based on the principle of local autonomy and decentralization of public services.

Chapter VI Judicial authority

Section 1 Courts of law

Article 127 Right to have an interpreter

(1) Procedure shall be conducted in Romanian.

(2) Citizens belonging to national minorities, as well as persons who cannot understand or speak Romanian have the right to take cognizance of all acts and files of the case, to speak before the Court and formulate conclusions, through an interpreter; in criminal trials, this right shall be ensured free of charge.

Title VI Revision of the Constitution

Article 148 Limits of revision

(1) The provisions of this Constitution with regard to the national, independent, unitary and indivisible character of the Romanian State, the Republican form of government, territorial integrity, independence of the judiciary, political pluralism and official language shall not be subject to revision.

Source: Government of Romania, Department for Protection of National Minorities