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In November 2010, President Basescu declared, in an official visit to Slovenia that: “I must tell you something essential – very many important politicians are making a confusion when it comes to the Roma. We cannot speak of all the Roma. Those we see going around Europe are nomadic Roma who come from Romania and other EU countries. Their cultural objective is to go from place to place. Romania has over one million integrated Roma, they are part of the Romanian society. What we have not managed is connected to the integration of nomadic Roma (…) We have another problem which must be said and which makes the integration of nomadic Roma difficult – very few of them want to work. Many of them, traditionally, live off what they steal.” [1]

A petition was sent to the National Council for Combating Discrimination (NCCD) against the president. The NCCD decided it does not have territorial competence to solve the case, since the assertions were made on the territory of a different state. NGOs accused the NCCD of giving preferential treatment to high state dignitaries giving other examples, and, for this particular case mentioning that the NCCD did not invoke the same lack of territorial competence in another case where a famous tennis player had made discriminatory statements while in France and was sanctionned for it. [2]



1., Basescu: many of the nomadic Roma live off what they steal, 03.11.2010, available at: (Date of access: 06.03.2012)

2. Romani CRISS and Center for Legal Resources, Press statement: Are we all equal before the National Council for combatind discrimination? The NCCD administers in a preferential and politicized manner the cases which involve high state dignitaries, 15.06.2011, available at: (12.03.2012)