Romania, Comisia comună a Camerei Deputaţilor şi Senatului pentru elaborarea propunerii legislative de revizuire a Constituţiei României
Romania, Discussions within the Joint Parliamentary Committee for Constitutional Revision
In the spring of 2013, in the context of parliamentary debates for amendment of the Romanian Constitution (Constituţia României), several NGOs suggested an amendment of Article 4 (on the principles of equality and non-discrimination) to bring it into compliance with Article 21 of the EU Charter. The proposal was to expand the list of protected grounds, adding ‘sexual orientation’, ‘age’ and ‘disability’, among others. This proposal was undertaken by the Constitutional Forum (Forumul Constituţional) and on 4 June 2013, the Joint Parliamentary Committee for Constitutional Revision (Comisia comună a Camerei Deputaţilor şi Senatului pentru elaborarea propunerii legislative de revizuire a Constituţiei României) accepted the inclusion in Article 4 of an exhaustive list of grounds protected against discrimination, as stipulated in Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
In reaction, conservative groups (religious groups, conservative politicians) criticised the introduction of the ‘sexual orientation’ ground by invoking the traditional values of Romania. Following these protests, on 11 June 2013 the amendment was discussed once again and rejected. However, a third vote on the provision was organised following protests from civil society NGOs and media attention on the topic. The initial amendment was passed, but for the ground of ‘sexual orientation’ At present, all discussions on constitutional revisions have stopped; they will probably be resumed when political support has built up again.