COUNCIL OF EUROPE
COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS
on implementation of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities by Moldova
(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 15 January 2003
at the 824th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)
The Committee of Ministers, under the terms of Articles 24 to 26 of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (hereinafter “the Framework Convention”), and sitting in the presence of a non-member state Party1;
Having regard to Resolution (97) 10 of 17 September 1997, setting out rules adopted by the Committee of Ministers on the monitoring arrangements under Articles 24 to 26 of the Framework Convention, and particularly rule 392 of Resolution (97) 10;
Having regard to the voting rule adopted with Resolution (97) 103;
Recalling that the Government of Moldova submitted its state report in respect of the first monitoring cycle under the Framework Convention on 29 June 2000;
Whereas the Advisory Committee accepted the invitation of the Government of Moldova to send a delegation to gather further information in Moldova, this visit taking place from 31 October to 5 November 2001;
Whereas the Advisory Committee's opinion on implementation of the Framework Convention by Moldova was adopted on 1 March 2002, and then transmitted to the Permanent Representative of Moldova and communicated to the permanent representatives of all member states and to the Representative of a non-member state Party as document CM(2002)44;
Whereas the Government of Moldova submitted its written comments on the opinion of the Advisory Committee, these written comments having been communicated to the delegations of all member states and a non-member state Party as an addendum to document CM(2002)44 dated 9 October 2002;
Having examined the Advisory Committee's opinion and the written comments of the Government of Moldova;
Having also taken note of comments by other governments;
1. Adopts the following conclusions concerning implementation of the Framework Convention by Moldova:
- Moldova has made commendable efforts to establish a legal and institutional framework for the protection of national minorities, and has clearly demonstrated its wish to implement the Framework Convention in practice, especially with respect to education and culture.
- Shortcomings and difficulties remain, particularly affecting persons belonging to disadvantaged or numerically smaller national minorities, in such fields as access to media, participation in public affairs, and use of minority languages.
- The legislative changes required by the Organic Law adopted in 2001 should be made without delay, in consultation with the persons concerned. It is essential to ensure, through the implementation of the relevant legislation, appropriate protection of persons belonging to all national minorities and their respective identities and cultures, including those of disadvantaged or numerically smaller minorities.
- Although a spirit of tolerance and interethnic dialogue exists in Moldovan society, tensions have arisen with regard to the Government's language policy. To avoid all manifestations of linguistic intolerance, it is essential to promote a balanced approach in this area, taking account of the legitimate interests of all national minorities as well as of the majority.
- In view of the substantial imbalance noted between the various national minorities in the matter of their access to and presence in the media, it is important that the Government provides increased support to the national minorities which are disadvantaged in this area, and particularly to the Ukrainian minority.
- In the field of education, it is essential to consult representatives of the various national minorities, with a view to providing a balanced response to their specific needs and ensuring their equitable access to the resources available. Special attention should be paid to numerically smaller minorities and to those that are not in a position to enjoy the support of a kin-state.
- In spite of some recent initiatives by the authorities, the implementation of the Framework Convention has not been fully successful with respect to the Roma. Action is urgently needed to eliminate the manifestations of discrimination and the serious socio-economic difficulties faced by a number of Roma, and to foster their integration into Moldovan society.
2. Recommends that Moldova take appropriate account of the conclusions set out in section 1 above, together with the various comments in the Advisory Committee's opinion.
3. Invites the Government of Moldova, in accordance with Resolution (97) 10, to:
a. continue the dialogue in progress with the Advisory Committee;
b. keep the Advisory Committee regularly informed of measures taken in response to the conclusions and recommendations set out in sections 1 and 2 above.