Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world... (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Preamble)
Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people... (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Preamble)
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1)
The European Commission Rule of Law Report
On 20 July, the European Commission launched the 2021 Rule of law report. In drafting the report, the Commission has studied a variety of sources, including contributions from Member States, country visits and inputs from stakeholders. The Romanian Institute for Human Rights (RIHR) contributed to the ENNHRI (European Network of National Human Rights Institutions) Rule of Law Report
, and information from this document has been incorporated into the European Commission's Report.
The chapter on Romania
presents a number of issues relating to developments in the field of justice (such as judicial independence, discussions on the dismantling the Section for the Investigation of Criminal Offences in the Judiciary, human resources shortages in the justice system), issues relating to the anti-corruption legislative framework, pluralism and media freedom. The paper also addresses other institutional elements of the control and verification mechanism, showing that the number of public consultations prior to the adoption of legislation remains limited, noting that a Constitutional Court decision raises concerns as it calls into question the principle of supremacy of EU law. In addition, the report mentions the existence of draft legislation in the Senate aimed at merging the RIHR into the National Council for Combating Discrimination, even though the mandates of the two institutions are different (the mandate of the NCCD covers only non-discrimination issues, the mandate of the RIHR covers all fundamental human rights and freedoms).
The Rule of law report is an integral part of the democratic identity of the EU and its Member States and is essential for the functioning of the EU and for increasing the confidence of citizens and business in public institutions. Key principles of the rule of law include legality, legal certainty, prohibition of arbitrary exercise of executive power, effective legal protection provided by independent and impartial courts that fully respect fundamental rights, separation of powers in the state, equality before the law. The full report can be found here
Second phase of the RIHR - ANES campaign to raise awareness of bullying in the workplace
The Equal Opportunities Week which started on 8 May - proclaimed at national level by Law no. 23/2015 as the national day for equal opportunities for women and men - is an opportunity to draw attention to access to equal opportunities, treatment and opportunities. In a democratic and inclusive society, respect for human dignity and the full exercise of fundamental rights and freedoms are objectives that can be achieved by preventing and combating all forms of violence, abuse or harassment.
In this context, RIHR and National Agency on Equal Opportunities (ANES) have launched in partnership the second phase of the Campaign on Moral Harassment in the Workplace, a phenomenon that affects human beings regardless of gender, race, nationality, religion, political belief, age, social status, etc. More details on the campaign can be found (in Romanian) here
Recommendation CM/Rec(2021)1 of the Committee of Ministers to Member States
On 31 March the Council of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted a new recommendation on the development and strengthening of effective, pluralist and independent national human rights institutions, CM/Rec(2021)1. This new instrument underlines the importance of these institutions for the respect of human rights, the rule of law and democracy. At the same time, it recalls their role in linking public authorities with civil society and citizens. The text of the Recommendation can be found here
. The Romanian version, translated by Romanian Institute for Human Rights, can be found here