Representatives of the Romanian communities in Ukraine, Serbia and Bulgaria asked for the support of the Romanian state to preserve their national identity, pointing out the lack of interest on the part of the authorities in Bucharest to the problems they face, Agerpress agency reports. The topic was discussed within the framework of the Summer University in Izvoru Mureșului (Harghita County, Central Romania).
The representative of Romanians in Bulgaria, Ivo Georgiev, spoke about the fact that the Bulgarian state, a member of the European Union, does not grant rights to the Romanian minority and that the authorities in Bucharest do not support this community to preserve its national identity, reports Agerpress.
As representatives of Romanian communities, the chairman of the Bessarabia Association of Romanians from Odessa (Ukraine) Anatol Popescu, the chairman of the Romanian/Vlach Culture Association “Ariadne Philum” from Timok (Eastern Serbia) Zavisa Jur and the chairman of National Council of Romanian National Minorities from Vrsac (Vojvodina, Serbia) Stevan Mihailov.
Claudiu Turziu, Chairman of the Committee on Romanians Abroad of the Romanian Senate, also participated in the Summer University in Izvoru Mureșului and emphasized the importance of developing a strategy for Romanians abroad. Turziu said that the conclusions of the discussion with the representatives of the Romanian communities should be accepted by the Romanian state and “create a policy for Romanians abroad and especially for Romanians around Romania, who are subjected to an increasingly aggressive process of assimilation and denationalization, whose rights are not respected in Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece and Ukraine”.
The chairman of the “Bessarabia” association of Romanians in Odessa, Anatol Popescu, spoke about the difficult situation with the teaching of the Romanian language. He spoke of Soviet-era practices of dividing Romanians in southern Bessarabia into Romanians and Moldovans, which he said led to the disappearance of Romanian-language schools in the area. Anatol Popescu emphasized that the Romanians in Ukraine, in their large majority, are decent people, thousands of them have enlisted in the Ukrainian army and are doing their duty as citizens of the Ukrainian state, and dozens have lost their lives in the war with Russia.
Zavisa Jur, chairman of an association of Romanians from the Timok region of Serbia, said the 300,000 Romanians in the area are fighting a constant battle to preserve their identity, given that they lack mother-tongue education, cultural institutions or mass media in Romanian. Jur said that the Serbian state is pursuing a policy of denationalization of Romanians in the zone and stressed that the Romanian community in Serbia does not receive any help from the authorities in Bucharest, only from the Romanian Orthodox Church.
The chairman of the National Council of Romanian National Minorities in Varšac (Vojvodina) Stevan Mihailov said that there are no problems with the rights of Romanians there, but there are problems with the preservation of education in the mother tongue. Mihailov also complained about the lack of support from the Romanian state. He gave an example of how Hungary supports its communities in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Serbia, for example.
The debates on the topic were attended, among others, by the Deputy Chairman of the Commission for Romanian Communities Abroad at the Chamber of Deputies, Boris Volosatai, the Chairman of the Civil Forum of Romanians from Covasna, Harghita and Mures, Dragos Burgelia, and the Chairman of the National Foundation for Romanians Abroad Eugene Popescu.
The 19th edition of the Summer University in Izvoru Muresului is held at the National Sports Complex “Izvoru Muresului” and is organized by the Civic Forum of Romanians from Covasna, Harghita and Mures in partnership with the National Foundation for Romanians Abroad, the European Study Center Covasna-Harghita in Sfantu Gheorghe and the Romanian East Association in Chisinau.
The conference, which will end on September 18, will address issues related to the problems of Romanians living around the borders of Romania and in the Balkans, as well as topics related to the war in Romania’s neighborhood, the unification of Bessarabia (historical-geographical region in today’s Ukraine and Moldova) with Romania and the situation of Romanians in the counties of Covasna, Harghita and Mures, notes Agerpress.