Electoral speeches without discrimination!

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Objectives of Project

Objective 1 – analysis of the situation regarding hate speech and discrimination in the campaign of elections for the European Parliament and the election of the President of Romania from 2014.

Objective 2 – Conducting an information campaign to prevent the use of hate speech and discrimination in political campaigns addressed to candidates, campaign staff, party members and campaign volunteers, as well as News editors.

Objective 3 – elaborating and promoting, in Parliament, a proposal for a law on eliminating speech instigating to hate and discrimination in electoral campaigns in Romania.  

Project activities:

1.  Training news editors a few days after the start of the election campaign (May 7, 2014), the project team organized a training for the news editors of the national and regional televisions in Romania on the issue of incitement to hate and discrimination during electoral campaigns. In the training were presented definitions and cases of speech instigation to hate and discrimination in the electoral campaign and the medium and long term effects of their promotion and was distributed the course support on “The role of the media in Fighting hate speech and discrimination”.

This course support can be accessed on the Discursfaradiscriminare.ro project page, material number 3 – Course support [1]. At the roundtable participated representatives from public institutions with attributions in this field: Mr. Csaba Ferenc, President of the Council for Combating Discrimination, Mr. Dan VLAICU, vice president of the Permanent Electoral Authority and a representative of the National Audiovisual Council. Among the news agencies, the only one who responded positive to our invitation has been AGERPRES by Mr. Alexandru Giboi, General Manager. For a larger story about this debate, we invite you to access the YouTube channel ONGmania, the report “electoral speeches without discrimination” [2]. Debate-1 Debate Debate-2

Visits in the news agencies during the election campaign for the election of the President of Romania, the project team together with Mr. Csaba Ferenc, has visited several news agencies and provided them with the course support carried out within the the project, as well as promotional materials (a beanbag marked with the project logo and the text “Here is no place for discrimination!” and mugs with the project logo). The news agencies visited by the project team were: AGERPRES, Hotnews, thought, Mediafax, Antena 3 and B1TV. Visits-in-writing  The page Discursfaradiscriminare.ro contains a brief description of the project and its purpose, as well as the 4 materials made within it:

  1. Brochure for political parties
  2. Comparative study
  3. Course Support
  4. Comparative Study in English

Page The comparative study on the legislation that sanctioned hate speech and discrimination in EU Member States in order to have a clearer picture on the regulation of the speech on hatred and discrimination in the project was Conducted a comparative study at European Union level on the legislation on combating discrimination. This study wanted to present the measures taken by the European States to combat this type of speech and to identify those solutions that would be appropriate in the Romanian context, in case there were no regulations already in the field. Given the quality of the material produced by the E-Civis expert in electoral legislation and the fact that it is the only material of its kind at European level, the Permanent electoral authority has proposed to the project team the translation and publication of this Study in English, following this institution to identify funds for publication not only online but also in physical version, to be distributed in future events on similar topics.  

Online monitoring In The project was also conducted online monitoring during the pre-campaign and election campaign for presidential elections, for the same purpose: to get as much information as possible to help the project team and, In In particular, institutional partners, to carry out a legislative project covering the legal gaps in the field of hatred and discrimination speech. The results are found in the final report of the project.  

Drafting a legislative project one of the objectives of this project was to develop and promote, in Parliament, a proposal for a law on combating the instigation of hate and discriminatory speech in electoral campaigns in Romania. In order to elaborate this proposal for a normative act, the comparative study on the regulation of discriminatory speech in EU countries, as well as online monitoring during the pre-campaign and electoral campaign for Presidential election. The draft normative act agreed by the two public institutions partnered within the project, with attributions in the field of non-discrimination and in the electoral field, states:

  • Electoral constituencies offices can solve complaints about discriminatory discourse and hate speech
  • The resolution of these complaints shall be made within a maximum of 3 days of their registration
  • The term of removal of materials declared discriminatory to be made within 24 hours of receipt of the communication

The purpose of the proposed changes is to diminish the effect of discriminatory or hateful materials especially in electoral campaigns. Average Time for C.N.C.D. To respond to a complaint of this kind is about 3 months, a belated term from the point of view of the effects created. The proposal also provides the possibility to challenge the decisions of constituencies electoral offices, so there is no risk of abuse of power at local level. The legislative proposal was submitted to the Joint Committee of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate for drafting legislative proposals on electoral laws, legislative proposals on amendments to the Law on political parties and the Law on Financing of political parties and electoral campaigns that has acquired it.  

Project budget: 55114.50 EURO.

Project financed by EEA grants 2009 – 2014, within the NGO fund in Romania.  

[1] http://discursfaradiscriminare.ro/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Suport-de-curs.pdf [2] Https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yD17C_rhITc

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