President of Romania

Speech made to the Assembly

Tuesday, 23 April 2002

I apologise to the majority of those present but, if you will allow me, I would like to deliver my speech in French to highlight our francophone traditions. Thank you.

(The speaker continued in French) (Translation) Mr President, members, distinguished guests, it is an honour for me to address the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe again to give an account of the progress made by Romania in areas of great interest to my country such as democratisation, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, treatment of minorities and of children placed in institutions, and preparation for accession to the European Union and Nato. I should like to thank you for inviting me to address this forum, one which is eminently representative of European democracy.

My previous address to the plenary Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe was made one year after Romania joined the Organisation, and the subsequent development of relations between Romania and the Council of Europe has been remarkable in every respect.

It gives me great pleasure to greet several staunch friends of Romania present here whose assistance, advice and efforts have helped us greatly in the process of integrating Romania into the family of Council member states.

One of the founding fathers of Europe, Robert Schuman, declared in 1953 that Europe was to be constructed not only in the interest of the free countries but also in order to bring into it the countries of eastern Europe once they had been freed from all their previous constraints and asked us to let them join our community.

His perception was correct: once they were free from the constraints of communist totalitarianism, the countries of eastern Europe, among them Romania, requested and worked to be accepted in the Council of Europe, the European Union and Nato.

The fall of the iron curtain which divided our continent after the second world war provided countries like Romania with a unique opportunity to reject their totalitarian past and to assimilate the values of democracy and human rights and fundamental freedoms, and also to build a law-based state with its institutions.

In the course of those years, we learned to trust in the future and aspire to a united Europe, based on the fundamental rules common to free nations equal in law.

Since its foundation, the Council of Europe, as advocate of the interests of Europe’s citizens, has built up a system of clearly defined values and rules, spearheaded by the European Convention on Human Rights. Thus the Council’s member states accept responsibilities in combating violations of human rights, and undertake to ensure their observance.

As soon as it joined the Council of Europe, Romania underwent a complete transformation both of the state and its institutions, a radical change in the status of its minorities and an improvement in the implementation and honouring of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Throughout those years, we laboured to strengthen and deepen democracy and to involve the citizens more in decision-making at central and local levels.

Romania’s democratic institutions and political system have been consolidated thanks to the store of experience acquired and the test undergone when power twice changed hands, in 1996 and 2000.

Romania may be described as having attained the norm as regards political and social climate and compliance with democratic rules. Romanian society has matured and has fully adopted the values and the policy instruments characteristic of western countries. Please allow me to emphasise the contribution made by the Council of Europe to the success of this process.

The stability and efficiency of state institutions, along with citizens’ confidence in them, have made a genuine leap forward. We are delighted to note that the citizens of Romania have made the office of the ombudsman part of their democratic practice and are already using this institution which is quite new to their political and institutional traditions. The office is shortly to acquire a children’s ombudsman, in an expression of our constant concern to uphold and further the rights of the child.

An important part of the reforms now under way is reform of the public service and decentralisation, in which the administrative autonomy of local communities is enhanced. The new Law on Local Self-Government, adopted in 2001, complies fully with the provisions of the European Charter of Local Self-Government, as well as being completely in line with the recommendations of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe. It clearly defines the responsibilities of local authorities and their relations with central government. The law meets the interests of national minorities, entitling them to use either their mother tongue or the official language in dealings with the public service in places where minorities represent at least 20% of the population.

The justice system, like the public service, is currently undergoing far-reaching reform, based on Council of Europe criteria among others. A radical review of the Penal Code now being enacted as law will enable the code to be brought into line with the standards applied in the member states of the European Union.

The honouring of human rights and fundamental freedoms remains the major objective of Romania’s political class and civil society. In this sphere, the progress made by Romania hitherto is substantial. We are aware of our shortcomings, knowing that there is still inaction and even violation of these principles.

The Romanian Government and civil society are working together to overcome these legislative and institutional weaknesses, focusing on a few priority fields: child welfare, trafficking in human beings, the social integration of the Roma minority, the restitution of property, and the broadening and deepening of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

I should like to emphasise two of these priorities: restitution of property and integration of the Roma minority. Romania has acted fittingly and in good faith to make good the injustices and abuses of its totalitarian regimes.

Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, Romania wishes to make an active contribution to stability in Europe, both through its activities in the Council of Europe and through its integration into the European Union and Nato. We have demonstrated our ability to handle complex responsibilities, thanks to the success of the Romanian chairmanship of the OSCE in 2001 and thanks also to the action which we took, together with other states, in the wake of 11 September, which may be regarded as the action of a de facto member of Nato.

A key element in Romania’s contribution to the success of the single Europe project has been our effort to reform the economy and modernise the state and its institutions, to introduce the acquis communautaire and meet the criteria for membership of Nato and the European Union.

Even though the Romanian economy has not yet regained its 1989 level, in the past year it has nevertheless made significant progress towards renewed growth, which we are keen to sustain in the long term. This will allow us to take more effective action against poverty, social exclusion and unemployment, which are the main challenges facing us at present and the focus of our efforts. The pace of economic reform and privatisation has been increased, in a climate of legislative stability and transparency. Particular attention is being given to the fight against corruption and bureaucracy, organised crime, arms and drug trafficking and illegal immigration.

The proposed European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Romania is a key factor in changing our economic and social structures and national policies. By playing an active part in the proceedings of the European convention on the future of Europe, Romania is contributing to the emergence of a blueprint for the future in which the Council of Europe will have a special place, in view of its role as a repository of shared democratic values and a forum for discussing the future development of democratic systems, human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The tragic events of twentieth-century European history demonstrated how much the shared values on which modern-day Europe is based mean for the improvement of the human condition and ensuring human dignity and peaceful co-existence.

Europe can and must serve as an example of solidarity and co-operation for the benefit of all nations worldwide. Globalisation requires us to reconsider our priorities and to base our action on firm principles and values, convincing the public that any action transgressing these principles and values is bound to bring suffering and humiliation.

Reduction of the enormous gaps between rich and poor – tending to widen rather than diminish under the influence of new information technologies and the information society – must become the strategic goal of all states and international institutions. This is the main requirement for strengthening global stability. Europe can provide just such a model – a European social model based on the principles of the social market economy – providing the necessary levers both for sustainable, universally beneficial economic growth, and for a reduction in social polarisation and marginalisation.

Romania is profoundly interested in promoting such a strategy – at European and world level – and sees this as an opportunity to channel its efforts into overcoming underdevelopment and becoming a fully- fledged member of the European community.

However, account also needs to be taken of certain economic and social constraints. Most of the properties which I mentioned no longer physically exist. Others – converted using taxpayers’ money – have become public buildings housing schools, hospitals and museums.

It is our wish to solve this problem as rapidly as possible, in a spirit of justice and social equity. But a country like Romania finds it hard to bear the financial outlay which such acts of restitution entail; leaving aside applications for restitution in kind, the financial compensation claimed to date amounts to some US$3 billion. By way of comparison, foreign investment in Romania has totalled US$7 billion over a twelve-year period. To this has to be added the pressure of constructing new housing for people having to move out and new buildings for public institutions uprooted through the return of property.

Romania will honour the undertakings made, endeavouring not to cause any new abuses or injustices and to ensure that this process is socially sustainable. The Romanian state authorities have lost two cases at the European Court of Human Rights, cases relating to property. We are determined to ensure that the decisions of the Court are fully complied with, inter alia by making the domestic legislative changes entailed by these decisions. At the same time, we should like to highlight our wish for the European Court to take into consideration the actual economic and social situation of each country when it determines the amount of compensation.

Social integration of the Roma minority is among the priorities of the Romanian Government, whose action comes under a national strategy approved early in 2001. There are advisers for the Roma minority at prefectures and town halls, but also within other state institutions including the President’s Office. Their task is to co-ordinate social protection and integration schemes in aid of the Roma minority. Special funds have been allocated to achieve a reduction in the school dropout rate, to encourage education in the Romany language and to publish textbooks in that language. Broadcasting slots on the national channels have been reserved in the radio and television programmes directed at the Roma minority.

Romania has adopted a law against discrimination, including racial discrimination, and has endeavoured to change the majority’s perception of the Roma.

We stand on the principle that the Roma, like other minorities, are citizens with equal obligations and equal rights. We have been and remain receptive to any observations and suggestions about machinery and guarantees enabling minorities fully to enjoy their rights and to affirm their respective identities.

However, we could not accept an excessive or abusive interpretation of these principles which nurture tendencies to ethnic separatism, segregation and isolation. If people have no contact with each other, fail to work together, are unaware or disrespectful of each other’s values and traditions, then tolerance, dialogue and co-operation may well come to nought.

We favour a genuine dialogue between cultures and civilisations, between majority and minorities. Unity in diversity is what gives them their strength and their richness, both for Romania and for Europe. This is why we have such high regard for the Council of Europe’s efforts to create a culture of united struggle against racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia and intolerance.

Following the changes in our country since it joined the Council of Europe, and in the light of the commitments entered into by Romania on its accession, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe decided in April 1997 to halt the monitoring process. We appreciated this gesture and continue to take firm action to meet our obligations.

In short, since becoming a member of the Council of Europe, Romania has made substantial progress in strengthening its democracy, rule of law, civil society and national and social cohesion. We have seen the emergence of greater citizen responsibility towards the community and for the nation’s and Europe’s future.

The most precious achievement of these years, also thanks to the energetic action of the Council of Europe, has been the materialisation of the elements which go to make up a European identity, one naturally complementing Romanians’ national identity. The citizens of Romania are among the most enthusiastic supporters of the idea of a united Europe, seeing it as a design for the future which deserves to be supported and promoted.

The Council of Europe is one of the most open of the continent-wide organisations, comprising the countries that acknowledge and uphold values such as freedom, democracy, the rule of law and the market economy. This is a vital building block of an institutional structure that exists to unite our continent.

This process of building a united Europe depends on both the solidarity of the participating countries and the efforts of each to promote and defend common values and interests and to ensure the peace and stability of the continent.

Every country is called upon to demonstrate its capacity to contribute to the stability of its region. In this context, Romania has constantly striven to safeguard social peace and internal stability and to contribute to a peaceful settlement of the conflicts that have broken out nearby.

Our country’s traditionally good relations with its neighbours have enabled us to play a role as a provider of security.

History and the geopolitical context have given rise to numerous conflicts in the region. Romania seeks to address this kind of problem from the perspective of international law, while always thinking of the future, and this has proven to be a sensible and effective approach.

We have concluded fundamental political treaties with some of our neighbours – including Hungary and Ukraine – in which we have embodied a whole series of provisions consistent with Council of Europe standards relating to minorities. This has enabled us to settle a number of sensitive issues, such as those arising from the provisions of the Hungarian law on the status of Magyars living outside the borders of Hungary, for example.

We have overcome the obstacles to the signing of the basic treaty with the Russian Federation, which is due to take place in the near future, in Moscow. We have helped introduce zonal, sub-zonal and regional co-operation mechanisms encompassing all our neighbours and serving to build and strengthen mutual trust.

With reference to the debate to be held by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly this week on developments in the Republic of Moldova, I would like to put forward a few opinions on the subject.

Romania and the Republic of Moldova have strong ties on account of their history, ethnic make-up, language, values and traditions. This does not mean that we have any territorial claims, or any intention of meddling in the internal affairs of this sovereign state, which Romania was the first to recognise and which we have supported in its efforts to join European and international bodies. Our common language and ethnic identity, however, are realities which no one can dispute.

The fact nevertheless remains that in the Republic of Moldova today, human rights and fundamental freedoms are being flouted, perverting the course set for democracy and the rule of law. These concerns have also been expressed by other Council of Europe member states.

We are firmly resolved to honour our commitments towards the Republic of Moldova and to develop a special relationship with this country in areas such as the economy, education, culture, health care and preservation of our common historical heritage. We will continue our dialogue with the Chisinau authorities, a dialogue based on mutual respect, and we will support any initiatives that might lead to a negotiated settlement of the crisis inside Moldova.

Romania believes that it is the responsibility of the political leaders in Chisinau to find – together with representatives of civil society and with the assistance of the Council of Europe – peaceful, democratic means for the country to overcome the serious crisis which it is going through.

I must point out, though, that given the correct and friendly position adopted by Romania towards the Republic of Moldova during the years of its independence, we were dismayed by the accusations which the Moldovan authorities raised here in this very Assembly. We consider these accusations to be unfair and unwarranted, and believe that they are contrary to the spirit of good neighbourliness and mutual respect. We hope that the debate on the situation in Moldova will encourage the country’s political forces to find solutions that will bring about a return to democratic normality.

I will leave you with these thoughts, thanking you for your attention and for the support which you have given Romania.


Thank you very much, Mr Iliescu. Members of the Assembly wish to put questions to you. Some of the questions have a common theme, and I have grouped those together. There will be no time for supplementary questions.

I remind members that questions must be limited to thirty seconds. Colleagues should ask questions, and not make speeches or statements.

The first group of questions concerns enlargement of the European Union and Nato. They are from Mr Kirilov and Mr Jaskiernia. Mr Kirilov, please put your question.

Mr KIRILOV (Bulgaria)

Mr President, you recently hosted a meeting of presidents of states in the Balkan region. In what way does the common goal of countries in that region – to participate in the enlargement of the European Union and Nato – contribute to the creation of a climate of lasting stability and co-operation in South-eastern Europe?


As Romania approaches Nato membership, may I ask what membership will mean to Romania’s security, and what valuable contribution Romania can offer to strengthen European security?

Mr Iliescu, President of Romania

Thank you for your questions. For Romania and its neighbours, integration into European and Euro-Atlantic institutions are common strategic preoccupations and goals. Last year, when we were confronted with the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, co-operation between the countries of the region and between those countries and Nato, the European Union and the OSCE were positive factors in solving problems, developing a more normal situation and providing an opportunity to create a new peaceful climate in the region.

There is also a programme of regional and subregional co-operation which unites heads of state and other regional representatives. Last week we met in Tirana to discuss our common efforts to consolidate stability and to contribute to a peaceful solution to all the problems.

That brings me to the second question. Integration into Nato is not only important for Romania; it is also in the interests of Nato to enlarge to the east and the south-east, taking into account that the most fragile zone for European stability is in the western part of the Balkans. From that point of view, the integration of countries such as Romania and Bulgaria is strategically important and the presence and capacity of Nato are crucial factors for the stability of the region. Integration therefore makes an important contribution to regional stability and the role of Nato in the area. At the same time, it is important to maintain and consolidate internal stability, make progress in our economic and social development and create a better climate in the region.


Thank you. The second group concerns co-operation among regional institutions and there are questions from Mr Iwinski and Mr Pavlidis. Mr Iwinski, please put your question.

Mr IWINSKI (Poland)

There is a good and long-lasting tradition of co-operation between the states in the Black Sea area. As you are now approaching entry into Nato and the European Union, we wish you all the best. What role will be played by the Council of the Black Sea States, particularly in your relations with important countries such as Ukraine and Turkey?

Mr PAVLIDIS (Greece)

I come from Greece and I had the opportunity to hear you give a similar address some years ago. I am about to ask almost the same question that I put to you then. Various international bodies operate in my part of the region. I do not know whether the results of their activity were expected or not. Do you think that we need a permanent body such as the Balkan conference to promote our co-operation? What is your opinion of these developments?

Mr Iliescu, President of Romania

There is a direct correlation between the different organisations. Some are more important, such as the Council of Europe, Nato, the OSCE and the European Union. In addition, there are regional initiatives which do not conflict with the role of pan-European institutions, but represent a complementary form of interaction between the countries of the region.

The Black Sea co-operation initiative began with the summit in Istanbul in 1992, which was attended by various countries in the region and represented a positive experience. It covered different issues – not just the economy and economic co-operation, but culture and education, including a forum of universities of the Black Sea countries, tourism and so on. This has proved a positive development in zonal cooperation which has benefited the countries involved and helped them prepare for integration into European and pan-European organisations.

Turning to the question from the Greek Representative, let me set out some further initiatives. Last week there was a trilateral meeting between Greece, Bulgaria and Romania. We met in Bucharest to discuss common co-operation and the role of our three countries which represent an axis for general activities in the region. We have another meeting with Turkey in Istanbul in a month’s time. This interesting initiative between our four countries is connected with the support given to Romania and Bulgaria’s integration into Nato. The foreign affairs ministers of Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey and Greece met in Istanbul and then in Athens and are due to meet again in Reykjavik. This co-operation between our countries is in addition to other efforts, such as the south-east European co-operation process. It is a positive development. There was an idea that this forum, which has integrated all the countries of the region, could represent a permanent framework of co-operation connected with the Stability Pact which also includes the European Union and the Council of Europe.

There are other initiatives involved in issues such as the fight against terrorism, criminality and the traffic in drugs and persons. In Bucharest, there is an active centre involving the co-operation of eleven countries. Representatives of the police and customs are part of a permanent body in Bucharest which works in close co-operation with Europol, Interpol and so on. These different initiatives are a positive development and help us to become more involved in pan-European initiatives.


The third group of questions is on relations with neighbouring countries and there are questions from Mr Rakhansky, Mr Churkin, Mr Solé Tura and Mr Neguta. Mr Rakhansky, please put your question.

Mr RAKHANSKY (Ukraine) (interpretation)

asked about discussions on the border between Ukraine and Romania.

Mr CHURKIN (Russian Federation) (interpretation)

asked about Romanian spending in Moldova.

Mr SOLÉ TURA (Spain) (translation)

Given the acute problem of Moldova and your proximity to Russia, could you let us have your opinion on the future of Transnistria?

Mr NEGUTA (Moldova) (translation)

Mr President, you have described the situation and the interactions between Romania and its neighbours. When is it intended to conclude a political agreement between the Republic of Moldova and Romania? What will be the state of relations between our two countries once Romania’s aspirations to join the European Union and Nato are fulfilled?


Mr Laakso has indicated that his question is related more to countries neighbouring Romania than to rights of minorities. Therefore, I ask him to put his question.

Mr LAAKSO (Finland)

In Finland, we have two official state languages, Finnish and Swedish, despite the fact that only 6.4% are Swedish-speaking Finns. We are proud of the fact that we have two official state languages. In Moldova, your neighbouring country, about 35% of people speak Russian as their first language. Why in Romania, including in official circles, is there resistance, or voices of resistance, in respect of the Russian language? About the same number would speak Russian as speak Swedish in Finland.

Mr Iliescu, President of Romania (interpretation)

speaking in Russian, asked the speaker if he wanted his reply to be given in Russian.

(The speaker continued in Romania) (Interpretation) He said that a recent agreement between Ukraine and Romania laid down the basis for the good, neighbourly relationship between the two countries. There were outstanding issues about where the border should lie, but they were very technical. If there was sufficient goodwill, he was confident that a solution could be found. He did not want to go into detail about that matter because it was an issue for those working in that field.

Romania’s aid to Moldova was large. The governments had to monitor the relationship between the two countries. Part of the aid money went to provide student grants to young people from Moldova who were studying in Romania. Until 1989 the Moldovan language had not been taken into account in Moldova. Romanian and Moldovan had been considered as one and the same language. However, he wanted to ask the Russian Federation delegation how much aid their country was giving to Moldova. Many Russian books were going into Moldova; that was good assistance and was not external interference.

(The speaker continued in French) (Translation) The problem of Moldova and Transnistria is a very involved question, whose complexity Stalin left to history; it generates movements and disruptions in the former Soviet territory. Nor is this problem the only one bequeathed to us!

Moldova’s stability is at stake here. We have always supported the official stance of its leaders as crucial to the territorial integrity of an independent state recognised by the international community. This state must be assisted in attaining normality so that Transnistria can form an integral part of Moldova.

The bilateral treaty is an aspect of normalisation of relations between our two countries. Unfortunately a deterioration in the climate has been noted of late. We have expressed regret at this tendency, but do not consider ourselves at all responsible in the matter. We have always been and remain open towards our kinfolk in Moldova for the purpose of establishing the good-neighbourly, mutually respectful and helpful relations that are the norm between two adjacent countries.

I remain optimistic none the less. The change will be positive and in the interests of the citizens of Moldova.

(The speaker continued in English) On the Finnish experience with languages, we have eighteen languages in our country. The main language is that of the great majority of the population – the 90% who are Romanian. The second largest population, at 7%, is Hungarian and they have 7% of the members of the Romanian Parliament. However, there are many other minorities – seventeen or eighteen – all of which are represented in our parliament. Our constitution provides that all minorities that cannot be represented by elected representatives should nominate representatives in parliament. In the Chamber of Deputies, there is a special parliamentary group of minorities other than Hungarians. They have the right to use their own languages. They receive support from the state to promote their cultural identity and their languages as well as to have their own newspapers and use their languages in schools. For example, for the Roma minority, in the past year there has been activity to promote the Romany language and to provide the necessary material to help that group.

Therefore, we do not have any complexes about problems with minorities. On the contrary, we consider our minorities as equal members of the community. That diversity of cultures and traditions adds to the richness of our culture. That is the only way to ensure that everyone’s cultural identity receives the respect that it deserves. It is the concept of unity in diversity.

Mr LAAKSO (Finland)

My question was on the status of the Russian language in Moldova.

Mr Iliescu, President of Romania

That is not up to me; it is up to Moldova. Please do not push me to interfere in the internal affairs of Moldova.


Mr Laakso is not entitled to put a supplementary question. The next group of questions concerns social issues, with questions from Mr Cox and Mr Vis. Mr Cox, please put your question.

Mr COX (United Kingdom)

I was pleased to hear you say, Mr President, that your country is to appoint an ombudsmen for children. The Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee is concerned about what we understand is the policy in your country whereby youngsters who live in institutions are forced to leave them at the age of eighteen. Exactly what policies do you follow to offer youngsters accommodation and employment when they leave those institutions, so that they can start to readjust their lives in what is both your country and theirs?

Mr VIS (United Kingdom)

According to the World Bank, there are more children and disabled people – people with both physical and mental disabilities – in institutions in Romania today than there were before the economic transition. The overall quality of care for children and the disabled in residential care is, according to the World Bank, “worse today than it was ten years ago”. When will the Government of Romania develop coherent legislation, followed up with an implementation strategy and funding, to improve the human rights of people with disabilities in accordance with Article 46 of your own constitution?

Mr Iliescu, President of Romania

As I said, social problems are our main challenge – the living conditions of the population. Even before 1989, Romania was one of the poorest countries in Europe. That fact was at the root of the social explosion in Romania in December 1989. The Czechs spoke of their velvet revolution and in Poland they had a round table where representatives of government and civil society discussed the transition. In Romania, none of that was possible because of the very tough character of Ceauçescu’s dictatorship. Internal conditions in Romania were perhaps the most acute in the area. That popular explosion was the only solution because of the very difficult living conditions of the people.

You are right, however, in that it is now twelve years since the revolution. As I said, we have moved a great deal in the political field. We have moved to a normal situation now, with democracy and citizens’ rights, the state of the law and so forth. However, it is much more difficult to develop the economy. Economic systems in general suffer from more inertia. The main problem is a lack of resources. Also, we have demolished the former economic structures – it is easy to demolish, but it is much more complicated to rebuild the economy on a new basis. In that respect, we have had a confused economic evolution during that period. The economy has zigzagged. Even in that area, however, we are embarking on more normal development, with privatisation, structural reforms and so forth.

Our gross domestic product, however, represents about 80% of what it was in 1989 and the purchasing power of the population is only 60% of the level in 1989. Therefore, you will understand the challenge for politicians, the political parties and Romanian society. How do we answer the people when they question the value of democracy and the market economy if they have to live in worse conditions than they were living in, in 1989? Those are the main problems that must be solved. We must also solve the problems faced by children, disabled people and others.

We have taken many steps to solve the problems faced by children and to improve children’s institutions. We have a general programme to change the structure of such institutions and it promotes small communities that work with families who care for children with the help of the state. Before 1989 more than 200 000 children were in institutions. Now the number is about 90 000. The process is continuing and important assistance is being offered. We much appreciate the assistance given by international institutions and friendly countries, such as England, the Netherlands, France and Italy.

One problem has been mentioned. The young people who live in the institutions have to leave them when they are eighteen and we face the problem of integrating them in society. The government has a specific programme to help to integrate them into society and to ensure that they are professionally integrated. However, you will understand that the problem is of a general character. Unemployment is quite high in many regions of the country and even the people who live in normal conditions face difficulties. However, we are aware of the problems and we are acting to solve them.

On the point about legislation, many moves have been taken in that regard. The government became very active in promoting many projects connected with this issue and parliament is also working hard. I remain optimistic that we shall promote the necessary measures to improve the position of all these people.


Thank you, Mr Iliescu.

We must now conclude the questions to Mr Iliescu. On behalf of the Assembly, I thank him most warmly for his statement and for the answers he has given to questions. Thank you very much.