General legal framework

AuthorRomanita Iordache
Constitutional provisions on protection against discrimination and the promotion
of equality
Articles 1(3), 4(2), 6, 16 and 30(7) of the Romanian Constitution address issues that relate
to the prohibition of discrimination.47
Romania is a democratic and social state, governed by the rule of law, in which
human dignity, the citizens' rights and freedoms, the free d evelopment of human
personality, justice and political pluralism represent supreme values, in the spirit of
the democratic traditions of the Romanian people and the ideals of the Revolution of
December 1989, and shall be guaranteed.’ (Article 1(3))
Romania is the common and indivisible h omeland of all its citizens, without any
discrimination on account of race, nationality, ethnic origin, language, religion, sex,
opinion, political adherence, property or social origin.’ (Article 4(2) )
(1) The State recognizes and guarantees the right of persons belonging to national
minorities to the preservation, devel opment and expression of their ethnic, cul tural,
linguistic and religious identity.
(2) The protection measures taken by the Romanian State for the preservation,
development and expression of identity of the persons belongin g to national
minorities shall conform to the principles of equality and non-discrimination in
relation to the other Romanian citizens.’ (Article 6)
(1) Citizens are equal before the law and public authorities, without any privilege or
(2) No one is above the law.
(3) Access to public, civil, or military positions or dignities may be granted, according
to the law, to persons whose citizenship is Romanian and whose domicile is in
Romania. The Romanian State shall guarantee equal opportunities for men and
women to occupy such positions and dignities.
(4) After Romanias accession to the European Union, the Unions citizens who comply
with the requirements of the organic law have the right to elect and be elected to the
local public administration bodies.’ (Article 16)
Any defamation of the country and the nation, any instigation to a war of aggression,
to national, racial, class or religious hatred, any incitement to discrimination … shall
be prohibited by law.’ (Article 30(7))48
The text of the Constituti on does not provide for explicit protection against discrimination
on grounds of disability, age or sexual orient ation, a s stated in Directive 2000/78/EC;
however, it mentions protection against discrimination on the grounds of language,
opinion, political adherence, pr operty and social origin. In a 1993 decision, the
Constitutional Court established the principle of interpreting the protected grounds against
discrimination by giving priority to international human rights treaties as per Article 20 of
the Romanian Constitution, thus bringi ng in th e protected grounds listed by Articl e 26 of
the ICCPR.49 Given this early precedent, the court would also build in Article 14 of the
European Convention on Human Rights, as well as Protocol 12 considerations, thus
ensuring effective protection against discrimination on grounds of age, disability or sexual
orientation, should the convention be invoked. None of these categories is further defined
by constitutional provisions or by implementing legislation.
47 The Constitution of Romania of 1991 was amended by Law 429/2003 on the revision of the Constitution of
Romania, 29 October 2003, available at
48 Constitution of Romania of 1991, as amended.
49 Romanian Constitutional Court, decision 6 from 25 February 1993.

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