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  Nr. 3461 de luni, 24 octombrie 2005 
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Objections to minorities' status
The Venice Commission to reach decision on the project on ethnic minorities' made some recommendations for improving the law test, but it also consented to the project, although this legislative initiative has stirred hot dispute between the power at rule and the opposition. Even Conservative Party representatives in the Coalition at rule said they would only vote for this normative document if some amendments were admitted in exchange. The Social Democrats were really curious about the Venice Commission's view, hoping it wouldn't consent to it. Today's Senate session is the last when MPs may have final voting on the minorities' status, otherwise the project will pass tacitly and leave the Deputy Chamber in the version the government agreed to. The Deputy Chamber is now in charge of the decision. Those who have criticized the project have been warning that by means of this status UDMR (the Democrat Union of Hungarians in Romania) gets monopoly on any decision concerning ethnic minorities matters.
Requests from the Venice Commission
Yesterday the Venice Commission expressed consent to the law project on the status of minorities in Romania, but requested some corrections concerning the harmonization of this normative document with already existing laws. Bogdan Aurescu, Romanian foreign affairs secretary and member of the Venice Commission, says the Commission's consent is a very detailed one, on an 18-page document. Aurescu also says the Commission's report also mentions a set of requests meant to "improve" the project. Aurescu explains: "First of all the consent demands that the relation between the law project and internal legislation has to be made clear." The state secretary comes with details: "This is about a set of suggestions, some acceptable, some unacceptable. There are some matters on the definition of national minorities and concepts such as significant percentage, as compared to the local public administration law, for instance, as the latter mentions a percentage of 20, but this is not in the present law project. There are also matters about the registering of the organizations of citizens belonging to national minorities." Aurescu speaks about the project's view on cultural autonomy as well. He says the consent warns there is no international model for it, but that cultural autonomy can be an instrument for applying the main Convention on national minorities of the Council of Europe. Aurescu adds: "Things must be made clear about the relation with local authorities, for the law speaks about partnership with these authorities and this concept needs details with view to the budget activity of these councils and their juridical nature." (...)
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