The Romanian president has sent back the so-called ‘Trianon Bill’ for the National Assembly to review it. The bill would make June 4th a national holiday in Romania.
The legislation was passed by the Romanian Parliament by a great majority in May. According to the legislation, the government and local authorities must ensure that the national flag of Romania is hoisted in public places on the anniversary of the peace treaty. Furthermore, events are to be held on June 4th to promote the significance of the Treaty of Trianon and national public media must also report on scientific, educational, and cultural events that raise awareness of the importance of the historic event (which is a tragedy for Hungarians but a major achievement for Romanians). As it basically obliges Transylvanian Hungarians to also celebrate it, it was criticized by Hungarian officials.
However, instead of signing it (before the Treaty’s 100th anniversary), the Romanian President referred the bill to the country’s Constitutional Court, arguing that it contradicts the fundamental law of Romania on several points, including the equal handling of the country’s citizens. Also, in his view, it goes against the principle of the separation of powers, and it is more of a political statement than a law. Nonetheless, the Constitutional Court eventually rejected his complaints in July.
Klaus Iohannis now argues that the legislation is under criticism from a number of experts and NGOs, and as a result, it would be worthwhile to hold a wide-ranging consultation before the declaration. He wants to restart the legislative process with the involvement of historians, researchers, academics, educational institutions, and representatives of the civil sphere. As an EU Member State and a country committed to European principles and values, he argued that Romania must be open to dialogue, and be mature on issues that can cause division within society, and state institutions have a great responsibility in this.
Beyond this point, however, Iohannis hasn’t left much more room for maneuvering in case the Parliament accepts the bill once again; he will have to sign it no matter his reservations.
featured image Klaus Iohannis- Facebook