The European Greensare very concerned regarding the infringement of political rights in Romania.
Romania seems to establish, especially with the new electoral law from 2008, the most restrictive, discriminating and undemocratic provisions of the electoral laws in the European Union far beyond any reasonable standards. So, Romania failed to assume the obligations of membership in the EU by unsatisfying political conditions required.
Remus Cernea speaking at the 11th EUROPEAN GREEN PARTY COUNCIL MEETING
Malmö, Sweden, 16-18 October 2009
The so-called “Copenhagen criteria”, set out in December 1993 by the European Council in Copenhagen, require a candidate country to European Union to have:
“stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities, (…). Membership presupposes the candidate’s ability to take on the obligations of membership including adherence to the aims of political, economic and monetary union.”
The report “Political rights violations using undemocratic stipulations in Romanian Electoral Laws System” written by Mr. Remus Cernea, the Executive President of the Romanian Green Party, shows that minor parties and independent candidates are subjected to various forms of discrimination.
There are too many signatures to collect in order to stand for elections, the deposit required is too high for independents and small parties, the way in which the seats are given to the candidates is discriminatory, the principle of equal voting power is broken and the access to the media restricted. For instance: The deposit for a party to stand for general elections in all the constituencies is more than 314.000 Euros, the number of signatures for presidential elections is higher than in France which is a country having 3 more times citizens than Romania, the difference between the number of citizens in different constituencies is usually more than 30% and sometimes more than 100% percents and so on.
Because of these kinds of provisions only the big parties from Romania may stand for elections, but this situation is unacceptable in a member state of EU.
Democracy cannot be imagined without free and fair elections. “The code of good practice in electoral matters” legislated by the European Commission for Democracy Through Law – Venice Commission and supported by the Council of Europe through Resolution no 1320/2003 defines these rules of democratic elections: universal, equal, free, secret and direct suffrage, as well as the frequency of election.
The situation of democracy and human rights is very serious in Romania. That’s why it’s imperative for European institutions to ask the Romanian authorities to change the restrictive, discriminating and undemocratic electoral provisions and to respect the European democratic heritage of free and fair elections.
The European Greens will support the attempt to put the necessary pressure on the Romanian authorities in order to change the electoral laws with democratic ones. Also The European Greens may offer advisory assistance for an improvement of the electoral laws in Romania.