RMDSZ MEPs called on the European Commission to intervene in the Mikó case17.12.2014 | Restitution , European Commission , Mikó Case
MEPs Csaba Sógor and Iuliu Winkler addressed a letter to the European Commission regarding the Romanian appellate court’s ruling in the Mikó case. In the letter addressed to First Vice President of the Commission, Frans Timmermans and Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Commissioner Vĕra Jourová the RMDSZ MEPs urge the European Commission to find a means to rectify the wrongful ruling.
The writers conveyed the indignation of the Hungarian community in Romania, the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania and the Transylvanian Reformed Church regarding the court’s decision. The letter stated: "The ruling proves for the Hungarian minority in Romania that in their country the right to property is not guaranteed, and the acquired properties can be lost, which undermines citizens' confidence in the independence of the judiciary system and questions the respect in Romania for the rule of law and the right to a fair trial".
The letter described the history of the case of the Székely Mikó College’s building, in which the last event was the ruling of the Ploiești Appellate Court on the 26th of November 2014, which renationalized the property of the Transylvanian Reformed Church and sentenced three members of the Romanian Government’s Restitution Committee, Attila Markó, Tamás Marosán and Silviu Clim, to three years of prison with probation.
In the opinion of the MEPs the ruling of the court violates the principles of the rule of law, the right to private property, the right to freedom of religion, as well as minority protection laws and basic human rights. "One of the key achievements of the Hungarian community in Romania was the restitution of illegally nationalised lands, forests and properties by the communist regime. Creating the legal grounds for the restitution process was no easy task, but the RMDSZ has worked hard to create legislation which enables the Romanian state to return confiscated goods to their rightful owners"- stated Iuliu Winkler and Csaba Sógor in the letter.
This is the second time that the RMDSZ MEPS have turned to the European Commission regarding this issue. In July 2012, they sought out EC Vice President Vivian Reding in a letter that stated "The EU has consistently taken a stance regarding slandered and unjustly imprisoned public figures around the world. Thus it needs to show solidarity with people working in good faith and suffering such injustice in a Member State of the European Union." In her reply letter written in August 2012 Vivien Reding rejected the MEPs' request on the grounds that "the European Commission cannot take action in individual cases in proceedings in a national level court”. The RMDSZ MEPs now reminded the EC that the individual proceedings have ended, and the ruling made on the previous level has unfortunately not been changed, creating a perilous precedent in Romania.