Romania asks for delay in enforcing new property restitution law from the European Court of Human Rights

european court for human rightsThe Romanian Government will ask the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) a further three-week to a month’s delay in the deadline for adopting the new property restitution law for assets confiscated during the Communist regime. If cleared , this will be the second delay Romania has got from the Court, after a nine-month extension the Court approved in April last year.

The ECHR had given Romania 18 months from the opening of the procedure against the country in October 2010 to take all measures to compensate former owners of property confiscated during the Communist period.

New recently broke about Romania’s new plan to create an extra National Fund that would include agricultural land and forest, which would be given to former owners who failed to be compensated via the Fondul Proprietatea, which had been created for this purpose. The Association of Former Property Owners said they were not consulted when this new project was drafted, despite the ECHR having requested a consultation process.

Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta said that during his recent talks with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland, the two decided the best solution is to have a talk about the exact text of the law prior to its enforcement, and if objections will be raised, they will be addressed in the law. This is the reason for the three week to a month requested delay, said the PM.

Government representatives will also go to Strasbourg in April and talk to the European Court specialists prior to the new law being approved. He has previously said the Government wanted to assume responsibility on this piece of legislation.

Romania has lost 435 cases at the ECHR concerning properties confiscated during the Communist regime, for breaching Article 1 in protocol 1 of the Convention on Human Rights, which protects property rights.

Over 200,000 property restitution files are currently awaiting a solution in Romania. We wrote about the new proposed system for property restitution here.

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