Doc. 9281

20 November 2001

Csango minority culture in Romania

Recommendation 1521 (2001)

Reply from the Committee of Ministers

adopted at the 772nd meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies (14 November 2001)

1.       The Committee of Ministers has considered Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1521 (2001) on Csango minority culture in Romania and agrees with the Assembly that diversity of cultures and languages is a valuable source of Europe’s richness and the original feature of its cultural heritage.

2.       In a wider context, the Committee of Ministers calls the attention of the Assembly on the recommendation on “Safeguarding of Traditional Culture and Folklore” adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 15 November 1989. As concerns more particularly the Council of Europe, the Committee of Ministers recalls the Campaign “Europe: a common heritage” and refers further to the joint Council of Europe/European Union initiative “European Year of Languages”.

3.        The Committee of Ministers takes note of paragraph 2 of Recommendation 1521 but is not competent to pronounce itself on its substance.

4.        The Committee of Ministers would invite the interested scientific community, including Romanian and Hungarian scholars, to make joint research on the matter broadening the scope of ongoing studies, in the spirit of the European Cultural Convention of the Council of Europe.

5. As regards paragraph 9 of the Recommendation, the Committee of Ministers subscribes to recommendations i. and ii.

6.        As regards paragraph 9 iii. of the Recommendation, the Committee of Ministers trusts that the Holy See, in its regular contacts with the local Church Authorities, as well as the governmental authorities of the respective countries, will continue to follow the issues raised, in as much as they may affect the religious life of the Csangos.

7.        As regards recommendations vi. and vii., the Committee of Ministers encourages the use of the Council of Europe Confidence-building measures Programme.

8.        The Committee of Ministers takes note of the significant progress made in recent years in strengthening the legal and institutional framework for the protection of national minorities, necessary to the preservation, development and expression of the ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identity of the minorities in Romania, thus contributing to tolerance and understanding. Romania has acceded to most of the international human rights protection instruments, including a large number of Council of Europe conventions: the European Convention on Human Rights, the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, the European Charter of Local Self-Government, the European Social Charter (revised), and also signed the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages in 1995. The Committee of Ministers has encouraged its member states which have not yet done so, including Romania, to ratify and implement the European Charter for regional or minority languages.