With one exception—the Alliance for the Union of Romanians (AUR), a national-conservative party—the political parties in the Romanian Parliament adopted a “Declaration on consolidating equal opportunities” during a special session held on December 11, 2022.
In its previous version, proposed by the leftist wing of the ruling National Liberal Party (PNL), the title was: “Declaration on consolidating gender equality in Romania.” In the original text, so-called gender equality was considered “a fundamental right and one of the basic principles on which a sustainable, resilient, open, peaceful, prosperous, inclusive and competitive society is built.” On the pretexts of fighting discrimination, eliminating “gender inequality,” and encouraging the “full and equal participation of all women,” the authors “urge”—in fact, they push—all political and institutional actors to impose the neo-Marxist-influenced education and representation quotas in local and national elections.
While the original statement defiantly and repeatedly used “gender equality,” its updated version replaced it with “equal opportunities,” an amendment which was considered acceptable by the PNL moderates. Despite this obvious compromise, explicit support for “gender representation quotas” in terms of legislative changes was left in the final document, a topic that will soon create heated debates in the Romanian political scene.
During the debates that preceded the vote, representatives of the majority coalition (social democrats, liberals, and the Hungarian minority organisation) and the progressive Save Romania Union party called for “consensus” and welcomed this “sign of institutional normality.”
Only one political party opposed it strongly and voted against this Declaration: the AUR. AUR representatives referred in their speeches to the neo-Marxist political agenda and its policies that lead to loss of personal freedoms. Claudiu Târziu, the leader of AUR party senators, stated that gender is “fiction” and an “instrument of neo-Marxism.” He remarked: “When you speak about gender equality or gender quotas, this is actually radical-Left ideology that seeks to pit one part of society against another and impose positive discrimination—the exact opposite of what it claims. It is a rhetoric that hides a totalitarian perspective that we categorically reject.”
As for the equality between men and women, the AUR senator emphasized in the Romanian Parliament that it is “a reality that it cannot be denied. But gender quotas are an expression of forced equality. Meritocracy must triumph, not ideology!”