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Rural policy in Romania

Resolution 910 (1988)

Parliamentary Assembly
Assembly debate on 8 October 1988 (17th Sitting) (see Doc. 5963, report of the Committee on the Environment, Regional Planning and Local Authorities, Rapporteur : Mr Bota ; and Doc. 5934, opinion of the Committee on Culture and Education, Rapporteur : Mr G. Müller). Text adopted by the Standing Committee, acting on behalf of the Assembly, on 17 November 1988

The Assembly

1. Deeply concerned by information which suggests that the Romanian authorities are planning to destroy many villages and to move, without consent, their inhabitants into urban settlements which may be inappropriate ;
2. Acutely aware of the irreparable harm which such action could inflict on individuals, on local religious and cultural traditions, and on the architectural heritage of the Romanian countryside ;
3. Recognising that some of the villages in question may lack decent living conditions and basic hygiene ;
4. Unable, however, to see any valid agricultural reason for such plans, as all experience shows that collectivisation of farming populations and operations leads to a reduction in individual motivation and production ;
5. Having noted the resolution condemning such plans adopted by Europa Nostra in Heidelberg (7 September 1988) ;
6. Recalling its own longstanding concern for the integrated conservation of the architectural heritage, for minority languages and for individual human rights, and noting its recent resolutions on religious freedom in Eastern Europe (Recommendation 1086 and Resolution 908) and on active measures to conserve and enhance the countryside (Recommendation 1091) adopted in the context of the European Campaign for the Countryside 1987-88 ;
7. Recalling Resolution (85) 6 on European cultural identity, adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on 25 April 1985 ;
8. Believing that the villages of Romania form part of the diversity of a common European heritage, and that it is the responsibility of all European countries to respect and help preserve this heritage,
9. Calls on the competent Romanian authorities, and in particular on the Parliament of Romania with which the Assembly has engaged a dialogue :
a to abandon any project which involves the systematic destruction of villages or which fails to respect both the rights of the minorities and the preservation of their cultural, ethnic and religious identity ;
b to initiate public health and other programmes for the protection of the environment and of the built heritage in these villages ;
c to encourage independent family farming and the free marketing of agricultural products, so as to raise production and allow rural populations to remain on their land ;
10. Invites other international organisations, and notably Unesco, to intensify their pressure on the Romanian authorities to this end ;
11. Asks all European governments, East and West, to maintain keen interest in the matter and to reconsider existing relations with Romania if current plans persist or destruction proceeds