Senate quashes bill on Szekely Land autonomy

Acting as decision-making chamber, the Senate rejected on Tuesday by a vote of 96 to 9 the legislative proposal for the autonomy of the Szekely Land.

The initiator of the bill, deputy of the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR) Kulcsár-Terza József-György argued that the piece of legislation does not propose any border change, but only seeks territorial autonomy for the Szekely Land inside the Romanian state.

According to the bill "the inhabitants of Szekely Land are constituted as an autonomous community" as an expression of this region's historical identity, in order to ensure equal opportunities for the citizens and to protect the Hungarian national identity.

The autonomy of the community represents the right and effective capacity of the autochthonous majority community of this historical region to have self-administration prerogatives and certain state prerogatives so as to handle on its own responsibility and in the interest of the entire community a major part of public interest issues, in line with the principle of subsidiarity, the bill states.

According to the document, "Szekely Land becomes an autonomous region with legal personality inside Romania, and the competencies of the region are set forth in the present Statute of the region or in international law". "The region has decision-making right and management right in the fields falling under its specific competencies, and this right includes adopting and exercising a region-specific policy," the draft regulatory act also provides.

The same project mentions that "the territory of the autonomous region comprises the present Covasna and Harghita counties, as well as the historical seat of Mures, belonging to Mures County".

The Senate's Administration Committee issued a rejection report for the legislative proposal on ground that it "introduces new territorial - administrative units that are not provided for in the Constitution of Romania." AGERPRES (RO - author: Livia Popescu, editor: Georgiana Tanasescu; EN - author: Simona Klodnischi, editor: Simona Iacob)

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