The Constitution of Romania

  • The Romanian Constitution is the fundamental law that establishes the structure of the government of Romania, the rights and obligations of the country's citizens, and its mode of passing laws. It stands as the basis of the legitimacy of the Romanian government.
    The constitution was most recently revised by a national referendum on October 18-19, 2003. The new constitution, which took effect October 29, 2003, follows the structure of the Constitution of 1991, but makes significant revisions.

  • The Constitution of 1991, as revised in 2003, contains 156 articles, divided into 8 major sections or "Titles":

    Title I - General principles
    Title II - Fundamental rights, liberties, and duties
    Title III - Public authorities
    Title IV - The economy and public finance
    Title V - Constitutional Court
    Title VI - Euroatlantic integration
    Title VII - Revising the Constitution
    Title VIII - Final and transitional provisions

  • The first constitution of the United Principality (later Kingdom) of Romania was adopted July 1, 1866. After the extension of national territory in 1918, a new constitution was approved March 29, 1923. In the communist period, the constitution was modified in 1948, 1952, and 1965. After the Revolution of 1989, a new constitution was adopted in 1991.

  • The revision of the 1991 Constitution was approved by the Romanian Parliament, and was adopted by a constitutional referendum held October 18-19, 2003. A total of 55.7% of eligible voters turned out, with 89.7% of those voting in favour of the changes. The new constitution took effect October 29, 2003. More than half of the articles of the constitution underwent changes, large and small. The most important changes were:

    • National minorities have the right to use their native language in dealing with the governmental administration and the courts.
    • Private property is guaranteed the protection of the law. (previously property was only "protected", not "guaranteed")
    • The mandate of the President of Romania is extended to 5 years (previously it had been 4 years).
    • Military conscription is regulated by organic law (previously it was made mandatory by the Constitution and starting 2007 it will not be mandatory)
    • Parliamentary immunity is limited.
    • Once Romania accedes to the European Union (EU), citizens of EU countries will have the right to vote and to run as candidates in local elections (if they live in the relevant locality).
    • Entry into the European Union and NATO will not require a further referendum. A parliamentary vote (by a 2/3 majority) would be sufficient.

  • The full text of the constitution is available from the site of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies in several languages: