CHAPTER I General Provisions

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1 Methodological Norms of 9 September 2004 (*updated*9) for the enforcement of Government Ordinance no. 44/2004 on the Social Integration of Aliens Who Were Granted a Form of Protection or a residence permit in Romania, as well as of citizens of European Union Member States and of the European Free Trade Agreement Issuing body: The Government *) The initial text has been published in the OFFICIAL JOURNAL No. 863 from 22 September This is the version updated by S.C. Territorial Electronic Processing Centre S.A. up to the date of 12 June 2007, with amendments and additions made on the basis of Decision No. 948 of 15 August 2005; Decision No. 543 of 6 June 2007 **) The title of the methodological norms has been modified by point 3 of Art. I of Decision No. 543 of 6 June 2007, published in the Official Journal No. 396 of 12 June CHAPTER I General Provisions Art. 1. The access of aliens who have been granted a form of protection in Romania to social welfare and their participation in the integration programme shall be ensured according to the provisions of the Government Ordinance No. 102/2000 *) on the status and regime of refugees in Romania, with subsequent amendments and additions, as well as of the Government Ordinance No. 44/2004 on social integration of aliens who have been granted a form of protection in Romania, hereinafter called Ordinance, and of the present methodological norms respectively *) The Government Ordinance No. 102/2000 has been republished in the OFFICIAL JOURNAL No of 1 December The Government Ordinance No. 102/2000 republished has been abolished by para. (2) of Art. 152 of Law No. 122 of 4 May 2006, published in the Official Journal No. 428 from 18 May Art. 2 (1) By access according to legal provisions for Romanian citizens, in the sense of Art. 4-9 of the present Ordinance, it is to be understood that aliens who have acquired a form of protection in Romania benefit from social rights, while meeting the legal conditions applicable to Romanian citizens and on the basis of the identification document issued by the National Refugee Office, as well as of other documents issued by authorities from the countries of origin, and in case these are not available, on the basis of relevant documents issued by competent Romanian authorities. 1

2 (2) The National Refugee Office, the Ministry of Labour, Social Solidarity and Family, the Ministry of Education and Research, the Ministry of Health, the National Authority for Persons with Handicap, the National Authority for Child Protection and Adoption, as well as other institutions with responsibilities in the field set up, under legal conditions, a list of necessary documents to ensure the access of aliens who have been granted a form of protection in Romania to social welfare, under consideration of the specific situation of aliens who have been granted a form of protection in Romania. Cap. II Access to social rights Section I Access to employment and to housing Art. 3 Aliens who have been granted a form of protection are registered as employment seekers at the local employment agency or its local office where the alien has its registered residence. Art.4 By adapting the services offered by the National Agency for Employment of Labour Force to the specific needs of the beneficiaries of integration programmes, in the sense of Article 5 of the Ordinance, the following is understood: a) use of interpretation and consulting services in activities geared towards raising the chances of employment on the labour market of aliens who take part in the integration programme, including translation of learning materials used in vocational qualification b) organization, by the regional employment agencies as well as that of the City of Bucharest of special vocational qualification programmes for aliens who have been granted a form of protection in Romania c) implication of the National Employment Agency in facilitating the relation between the aliens who take part in the integration programme and potential employers ART. 5 Special housing facilities are ensured to aliens who have been granted a form of protection in Romania by competent authorities of local public administration, considering eligibility criteria valid for Romanian citizens Section 2 Access to the education system. Access to specific activities of cultural integration, counseling and learning the Romanian language 2

3 Aici subliniat ART. 6 The free courses offered to the aliens who have been granted a form of protection in Romania for initiation in the Romanian language for minors, as well as for learning the Romanian language for adults, shall be organized by the regional School Inspectorates including that of Bucharest city, following methodologies approved by the Ministry of Education, Research and Youth Art. 6 has been modified by point 4. of Art. 1 of the Decision No. 543 of 6 June 2007, published in the Official Journal No. 396 of 12 June Art. 7 (1) The applications for taking part in the courses mentioned under Art. 6 shall be submitted by interested persons to the regional school inspectorates as well as that of Bucharest city. (2) The regional school inspectorates as well as that of Bucharest city ensure the enrolment of applicants in the courses and notify them about the educational unit where the courses shall be organized. Art. 8 subliniat (1) In areas where the National Refugee Office or its territorial structures do not have local offices, the necessary premises for organization of free Romanian language courses for adults as provided under Art. 6 shall be offered by the regional school inspectorates Para. (1) of Art. 8 has been modified by point 5 of Art. 1 of Decision No. 543 of 6 June 2007, published in the Official Journal No. 296 from 12 June 2007 (2) Equipment of the premises provided by para (1), including consumable materials necessary for course organization, shall be ensured, according to the norms established by common order of the Minister of Administration and Interior and the Minister of Education and Research, by the institution which has provided the premises. (3) Subliniat (3) The textbooks necessary for delivery of the courses mentioned under Art. 6 shall be provided by the Ministry of Education, Research and Youth, through the regional school inspectorates as well as that of Bucharest city Para (3) of Art.8 has been modified by point 5 of Art. I of the Decision No. 543 from 6 June 2007, published in the Official Journal No. 396 from 12 June

4 Art. 9 Any adult person who takes part in the integration programme may benefit twice weeks from two sessions of cultural integration with a duration of two hours each, in conformity with the individual learning schedule. Art. 10 The National Refugee Office may close partnership agreements as well as service contracts for services included in the integration programme, with other public institutions or non-governmental organizations. CHAPTER III Protocol of participation in the integration programme, accommodation and financial support SECTION I Request to take part in the integration programme, evaluation of individual needs and closing the protocol of participation in the integration programme Art. 11 (1) Applications to take part in the integration programme shall be submitted in person by the applicants to the National Refugee Office.. (2) In case of children aged under 16, the request for taking part in the integration programme shall be submitted by their legal representatives. (3) The template of the request to take part in the integration programme, as well as that for the protocol mentioned under Art. 15 of the Ordinance shall be approved by the Head of the National Refugee Office. (4) The decision of admission of the applicant to the integration programme shall be made by the National Refugee Office, within 5 working days from registration of the application, if the applicant meets the requirements provided by Article 16 of the Ordinance. Art. 12 (1) The interview for the purpose of evaluation of individual needs in order to establish the type of assistance or of necessary activities to ensure social integration shall take place within a maximum of 30 days from the date of submission of the application for enrolment in the integration programme. (2) The protocol foreseen under Art. 15 of the Ordinance shall be closed within a maximum of 30 days from the date of the interview. (3) Should the person who applies for enrolment into the integration programme refuse to sign the protocol within the time limit foreseen under para (2), it shall be assumed that he or she decided to quit the programme. (4) Assessment of individual needs shall be made in close connection with the assessment of the applicant s family needs. 4

5 Art. 13 (1) The decision on the request for extension of the duration of implementation of the individual plan shall be made by the National Refugee Office as a result of a reevaluation of the needs of the person who applies for counseling, cultural integration and learning the Romanian language. (2) On deciding on the extension of the implementation of the individual plan consideration will be given to the activity carried out by the applicant within the integration programme, frequency of attendance, efforts made by the participant, including endeavours to find suitable employment, as well as to the behaviour both during training and with regard to activities geared towards facilitating the integration, as well as generally in society. Section 2 Right to housing Art. 14 (1) Simultaneously to the request to be enrolled in the integration programme, the alien who has been granted a form of protection in Romania and who does not dispose of means for subsistence, may submit a request to be accommodated in one of the centres under the administration of the National Refugee Office. (2) Requests for accommodation submitted under the provisions of Art. 21 of the Ordinance shall be resolved on the basis of a social enquiry to be carried out by designated officers of the National Refugee Office. (3) In case of families, the request for housing shall be submitted by one family member. (4) The social enquiry mentioned under para (2) shall highlight with priority following aspects: (a) means of subsistence available from the moment of granting the form of protection and during the period of determining the refugee status; (b) endeavours made by the applicant for finding appropriate employment; (c) social behaviour within the accommodation centre, should the applicant have benefited from accommodation, as well as generally in society; (d) other information on the financial situation of the applicant and of his family. (5) The time limit foreseen by Art. 21 Para (2) of the Ordinance elapses from the moment the social enquiry has been finalized. Art. 15 (1) Up to the finalization of the social enquiry, based on a sworn statement on the financial means at their disposal, the aliens who have been granted a form of protection in Romania and who request accommodation for the duration of the integration programme, may be accommodated from the moment of submission of the request to enroll in the integration programme, within the limit of places available. For this purpose, a rental contract shall be concluded between the National Refugee Office and the applicant to establish the rights and obligations of the parties, within the limits of the law. 5

6 (2) Should the social enquiry prove that aliens who have been granted a form of protection in Romania and have requested accommodation during the enrolment in the integration programme, dispose of sufficient means for subsistence, the National Refugee Office shall cancel the rental contract mentioned under para (1). (3) The provisions of Art. 1 shall benefit the aliens who have been granted a form of protection in Romania after the moment the Ordinance has entered into force, as well as the aliens who, at the date the Ordinance entered into force, already enjoyed the right to be accommodated in one of the centres under administration of the National Refugee Office. (4) Accomodation in the centres administered by the National Refugee Office shall be made on the basis of a rent to be established by Order of the Minister of Administration and Interior, calculated on the basis of the rent determined at local level for housing in the property of the state or of local administration, by adding additional expenses for maintenance. Art. 16 Authorities of local public administration may offer housing premises as mentioned by Art. 21 para (3) of the Ordinance based on payment of a rent established at local level for housing in the property of the state or of local administration bodies. Art. 16^1 (1) In order to benefit from renting housing premises as mentioned by Art. 21 Para (5) of the Ordinance, aliens who have been granted a form of protection in Romania shall simultaneously meet following requirements: a) they should have finalized the integration programme; b) they should dispose of sufficient financial means to be able to cover the rent established by law for housing in state property or administration, as well as maintenance expenses (2)The renting of housing facilities provided by Art. 21, para (5) of the Ordinance shall be carried out by concluding a contract, within legal conditions, subsequent to a social enquiry to be carried out by officers of the National Refugee Office. (3) The rental contract mentioned under para (2) shall be concluded for a duration of 12 months and may be subsequently extended for periods of 12 months by the National Refugee Office, upon request, following a re-evaluation of the tenant s situation. (4) Should the tenant fail to cover the costs additional to the rent, namely for utilities and maintenance, for a period of 3 months, the rental contract shall be terminated judicially, the tenant being obliged to immediately leave the premises, and the necessary amounts for covering outstanding payments shall be covered out of the budget of the Ministry of Interior and Administration Reform, within the limit of allocated funds, to be subsequently charged to the person under reference. (5) In case of housing facilities mentioned under Art. 21 Para (5) of the Ordinance, following expenses shall be covered from the budget of the Ministry of Interior and Administration Reform, based on actual costs incurred, within the limit of funds allocated for this purpose from the state budget: (a) amounts necessary to cover the portion from the expenditures for repairs and maintenance as planned by the Association of Landlords of the building under reference; 6

7 (b) amounts to cover insurance against any kind of damages, including third party insurance; (c) amounts necessary to cover expenditures incurred during periods when housing premises are empty; (d) amounts necessary for cleaning the housing units on transfer to another tenant, but not more than twice a year; (e) amounts necessary for the contribution to the revolving fund (6) The goods and facilities provided for the housing units mentioned by Art. 21 para (5) of the Ordinance shall be defined by Order of the Minister of the Interior and Administration Reform Art. 16^1 has been included by point 6. of the DECISION No. 543 from 6 June 2007, published in the Official Journal No. 396 from 12 June SECTION 3 Financial aid Art. 17 Granting of reimbursable support shall be performed according to the procedure provided by the Methodological Norms on the application of Government Ordinance No. 102/2000 *) on the status and regime of refugees in Romania, approved by Government Decision No. 622/ *) Government Ordinance No. 102/2000 has been republished in the Official Journal No from 1 December Government Ordinance No. 102/2000 has been abolished by para (2) of Art. 152 of the Law No. 122 from 4 May 2006, published in the Official Journal No. 428 from 18 May Art. 18 (1) Financial aid mentioned by Art. 22 para (4) of the Ordinance shall be granted to aliens who take part in the integration programme and who do not have own financial means, only during the first two months from the date of being granted a form of protection. (2) By financial aid to an equal amount with that granted to applicants for refugee status it is meant the support mentioned by Art. 13 Para (2) of Government Ordinance No. 102/2000 *), with subsequent amendments and updates *) Government Ordinance No. 102/2000 has been republished in the Official Journal No from 1 December Government Ordinance No. 102/2000 has been abolished by para (2) of Art. 152 of the Law No. 122 from 4 May 2006, published in the Official Journal No. 428 from 18 May CHAPTER IV The role of state institutions and local public administration bodies and interinstitutional cooperation for the purpose of integration of aliens who have been granted a form of protection in Romania 7

8 SECTION I Role of the National Refugee Office and inter-institutional cooperation in the field of integration of aliens who have been granted a form of protection in Romania Art. 19 (1) In fulfilling its role as a coordinator of the activities of all other state institutions, authorities of local public administration and non-governmental organizations involved in the integration process of aliens who have been granted a form of protection in Romania, the National Refugee Office shall: (a) ensure communication between all such institutions, especially with regard to aliens who take part in the integration programme; (b) centrally administers information and statistical data transmitted quarterly or as often as necessary by all institutions involved in the integration of aliens who have been granted a form of protection. (2)Through monitoring of individual cases by the National Refugee Office it is meant to follow-up and support the integration process into the Romanian society of aliens who have been granted a form of protection in Romania, on individual and family level, both during the implementation of the integration programme, as well as after their integration within a local community. (3) The National Refugee Office issues and presents to the Government, through the Ministry of Administration and Interior, a yearly report on the situation of aliens who have been granted a form of protection in Romania and makes proposals on policy enhancement with regard to their integration into society. Art. 20 Drafting of the individual plan of employment identification mentioned The aim of the present Ordinance is to facilitate the social integration of aliens who were granted a form of protection in Romania, by ensuring access to the following rights: right to employment, right to housing, right to medical and social assistance, social security, right to education, as well as through implementation of specific activities of cultural adaptation, counseling and Romanian language learning, grouped together in integration programs. Art. 2. In the sense of the present Ordinance, the phrases below shall be defined as follows: a) aliens who were granted a form of protection in Romania are the aliens who have been granted one of the forms of protection stipulated under Article 1, points a) and b) in Government Ordinance no. 102/2000 on the Status and Regime of Refugees in Romania, approved with amendments by Law no. 323/2001, with subsequent amendments and additions; b) social integration is the process of active participation of the aliens who have were granted a form of protection in Romania to the economic, social and cultural life of Romania, with a view to preventing and combating their social marginalization; c) integration programs are sets of measures and activities needed to facilitate the social integration of aliens who were granted a form of protection in Romania, carried 8

9 out, upon their request, through a cooperative effort, by public institutions, local communities and non-governmental organizations active in the field, under the coordination of the National Refugee Office of the Ministry of Administration and Interior. Art. 3. The integration programs for aliens who were granted a form of protection in Romania shall be established and implemented based on the beneficiaries needs, without any discrimination, by respecting their cultural background. CHAPTER II Access to Social Rights SECTION 1 Access to Employment and Housing Art. 4. Aliens who were granted a form of protection in Romania shall have access to the labour market under the same conditions established by law for Romanian citizens, as well as to working conditions equivalent to those provided by law for Romanian citizens. Art. 5. (1) Aliens who were granted a form of protection in Romania shall have access to the unemployment insurance system, to actions meant to prevent unemployment and stimulate employment, under the same conditions established by law for Romanian citizens. (2) The National Employment Agency shall undertake the actions needed to adapt the services provided to the specific needs of the aliens enrolled in the integration programs. Art. 6. Aliens who were granted a form of protection in Romania shall have access to housing under the same conditions established by law for Romanian citizens. SECTION 2 Access to Medical Assistance, to the Public Pension System and Other Social Security Benefits, as well as to the National Social Assistance System Art. 7. Aliens who were granted a form of protection in Romania shall have access to medical assistance under the same conditions established by law for Romanian citizens. Art. 8. Aliens who were granted a form of protection in Romania shall have access to the public pension system and other social security benefits, as well as the national social assistance system, under the same conditions established by law for Romanian citizens. SECTION 3 Access to the Education System Art. 9. Access of aliens who were granted a form of protection in Romania to all forms of education shall be provided under the same conditions established by law for Romanian citizens. Art. 10. (1) In order to be integrated into the Romanian education system, minors who were granted a form of protection in Romania shall benefit from a free of charge basic Romanian language course for a full academic year. 9

10 (2) While attending the Romanian language courses, minors who were granted a form of protection in Romania shall also participate in educational activities of a theoretical, practical or recreational nature, organized in schools, free of charge, without their attendance being registered in official records. (3) At the end of the basic Romanian language course, an evaluation board, whose membership and functioning shall be defined by Order of the Minister of Education, Research and Youth, shall assess the Romanian language proficiency acquired by the participants and decide on enrolling the minors who have been granted a form of protection in Romania in the appropriate mainstream grade. Art. 11. (1) The Ministry of Education, Research and Youth, and the Ministry of Labour, Social Solidarity and Family shall ensure, upon request, the recognition of diplomas, and the attestation of studies and qualifications obtained in the aliens country of origin, under the terms laid down in Romanian law. (2) The Ministry of Education, Research and Youth, and the Ministry of Labour, Social Solidarity and Family shall draft methodologies for the recognition of diplomas, and for the attestation of studies and qualifications obtained in the country of origin of the aliens who were granted a form of protection in Romania, which shall be approved by Government Decision. Art. 12. Minors who were granted a form of protection in Romania shall benefit from child care allowance, under the same conditions established by law for Romanian children. SECTION 4 Access to Specific Activities of Cultural Adaptation, Counseling and Romanian Language Learning Art. 13. (1) The National Refugee Office shall organize cultural adaptation sessions and counseling activities, in order to familiarize adult aliens who were granted a form of protection in Romania with the traditions, customs and specific features of the Romanian society. (2) The National Refugee Office may cooperate with other public institutions and nongovernmental organizations in organizing and running cultural adaptation sessions and counseling activities. Art. 14. (1) Adult aliens who were granted a form of protection in Romania shall benefit from Romanian language courses free of charge, organized by the specialized structures of the Ministry of Education, Research and Youth, in collaboration with the National Refugee Office. (2) The National Refugee Office shall make available the spaces necessary for the organization and running of the courses mentioned under paragraph (1), within the limits of available resources. (3) The qualified staff needed for the Romanian language courses offered to adults, and the preparatory year for minors, as well as the adequate training of the respective staff shall be ensured by the Ministry of Education, Research and Youth. (4) The organizational details, the duration, and curriculum for the Romanian language courses shall be regulated through a methodology developed and approved by the Ministry of Education, Research and Youth. (5) Upon completion of the preparatory Romanian language courses, the Ministry of Education, Research and Youth shall issue, free of charge, to the participants a document certifying their attendance of these courses, as well as the proficiency level acquired. 10

11 CHAPTER III The Protocol on Participation in the Integration Program, Accommodation and Financial Assistance Art. 15. Aliens who were granted a form of protection in Romania shall be included in integration programs based on their individual requests, as well as on a protocol concluded between the person requiring to be included in the integration program and the National Refugee Office, henceforth referred to as the Protocol. Art. 16. Applications for participation in the integration program shall be lodged with the headquarters of the National Refugee Office, within 30 days from the granting of a form of protection, or 30 days after the present Ordinance has taken effect, in the case of aliens who were granted a form of protection before this date, and have not benefited from integration programs. Art. 17. After having lodged their applications, aliens requesting to be admitted to the integration program shall be interviewed by the designated staff of the National Refugee Office, who shall fill in an evaluation sheet of individual needs, in order to define the type of assistance or the activities required for the social integration of the applicants. Art. 18. (1) Based on this evaluation sheet, an individual action plan for integration shall be developed, henceforth referred to as the individual plan. The plan including the objectives formulated for the beneficiary, deadlines, the activities needed to attain those objectives, the persons, institutions and/or organizations in charge of the plan, shall be communicated to the beneficiary and its implementation shall be monitored by the designated staff of the National Refugee Office. (2) The activities that may be included, separately or together, in the plan mentioned under paragraph (1) are mainly the following: a) counseling and support activities for ensuring access to the rights listed under Article 1; b) cultural adaptation sessions; c) Romanian language courses. Art. 19. (1) The Protocol mentioned under Article 15 shall include the following: identification data for the parties to the Protocol, rights and obligations of the parties, the period of implementation of the individual plan, conditions for extending the plan, situations where the implementation of the planned actions shall be discontinued or modified. (2) The evaluation sheet and the individual plan shall be appended to the Protocol. Art. 20. (1) Individual plans shall be implemented for a period of up to 6 months from the date when the Protocol is signed, or from the date indicated in the Protocol. (2) Upon the beneficiaries motivated request, and based on an evaluation performed at the end of the period stipulated under paragraph (1), the National Refugee Office may approve the extension of an individual plan by no more than 6 months. Art. 21. (1) Persons participating in integration programs who lack the material means for their upkeep may be granted accommodation, upon request, in the spaces specially allocated for the purpose, and managed by the Ministry of Administration and Interior, within the limits of the available places. (2) Accommodation in the spaces mentioned under paragraph (1) can be made available for a period of up to 6 months, which may be further extended by another 6 months for well-founded reasons, subject to approval of the head of the National 11

12 Refugee Office, without however exceeding the period of implementation of the integration program. (3) By means of joint programs run together with the local authorities and nongovernmental organizations, the National Refugee Office may make additional accommodation spaces available to aliens participating in integration programs. To this purpose, the National Refugee Office may conclude cooperation agreements with local authorities and non-governmental organizations, under the terms of the law. (4) Accommodation in spaces mentioned under paragraphs (1) and (2) is provided upon payment of rent -established at local level for state-owned or local council housing- and of maintenance expenses Art. 22. (1) Aliens who were granted conditioned humanitarian protection shall also be entitled, under the same terms as the aliens who were granted refugee status in Romania, to a reimbursable aid, as stipulated under Article 23, paragraph (1), point n) in Government Ordinance no. 102/2000, approved with amendments by Law no. 323/2001, with subsequent amendments and completions. (2) Aliens who were granted a form of protection in Romania who participate in the integration program, who fail to meet the conditions for receiving reimbursable aid, and who lack the material means for their upkeep, shall be offered support in order to fulfill the legal conditions for obtaining the minimum guaranteed income. (3) The contents of documentation file needed to obtain the guaranteed minimum income shall be defined by giving consideration to the specific situations of the aliens who have been granted a form of protection in Romania. (4) Until the first month when reimbursable aid or social aid is granted, aliens who were granted a form of protection in Romania, and who lack the material means for their upkeep, shall receive material aid from the National Refugee Office in equal amount granted to asylum seekers, within the limits of the funding available. Art. 23. (1) After signing the Protocol, aliens who were granted a form of protection in Romania shall have the following main obligations: a) to participate on a regular basis in the activities included in the individual plan; b) to make efforts to participate in all the stages of the integration program, as provided for in the Protocol concluded; c) to comply with the norms of discipline and conduct, with the rules laid down by the course coordinators, as well as with the internal regulations of the accommodation centers; d) to inform the National Refugee Office about any change that may affect their participation in the integration activities. (2) Failure to comply with the obligations stipulated under paragraph (1) shall result in the discontinuation of one or several of the actions included in the individual plan, and in the withdrawal of the right to accommodation and to material aid stipulated under Article 22, paragraph (4). CHAPTER IV Roles of Government Institutions and Local Authorities SECTION 1 The Role of the National Employment Agency 12

13 Art. 24. Aliens who participate in the integration programs shall be registered as job seekers with the National Employment Agency, within 30 days from the signing of the Protocol. Art. 25. In order to implement the actions meant to stimulate employment, the National Employment Agency shall develop an individual mediation plan for every person enrolled in the integration program and registered as a job seeker, by cooperating with the National Refugee Office to define the cultural, educational and family profile of these persons. Art. 26. The National Employment Agency shall identify the job vacancies available with various employers, and make them known to the persons included in the integration program and registered as job seekers. Art. 27. (1) The persons included in the integration program cannot refuse a job, or to participate in actions meant to stimulate employment, or in vocational training programs organized by the National Employment Agency without a well-founded reason. They shall also be under the obligation to comply with the decisions of the National Refugee Office concerning the local community where they are going to get a job and establish their residence. (2) In case these persons fail to comply with the provisions under paragraph (1), the assistance for integration provided by the National Refugee Office shall be discontinued. SECTION 2 The Role of Local Authorities Art. 28. When the integration program comes to an end or when job vacancies are identified, the National Refugee Office shall guide the persons receiving assistance towards the communities where the vacancies are available, and shall inform them about the modality for obtaining social housing, under the terms of the law. Art. 29. (1) Local authorities have the obligation to provide social housing to persons who were granted a form of protection in Romania and who move to the respective community, within the limits of the resources available, and under the same conditions as for Romanian citizens. (2) In case the local authorities are unable to provide social housing the aliens who were granted a form of protection may rent a dwelling space in the respective local community, based on a rental contract. (3) The National Refugee Office shall cover up to 50% of the total amount of the rent for the housing mentioned under paragraph (2), within the limits of the funding available, for a period of no more than one year. Art. 30. Local authorities have the obligation to support the access of aliens who were granted a form of protection in Romania to social and medical assistance and education, under the terms of the law. SECTION 3 The Role of the National Refugee Office Art. 31. The National Refugee Office of the Ministry of Administration and Interior shall coordinate the activities of other government institutions, local authorities, and non-governmental organizations involved in the integration process of aliens who were granted a form of protection in Romania, and shall monitor individual cases. 13

14 Art. 32. (1) Every year, no later than 1 July, the National Refugee Office shall submit a note to the Ministry of Education, Research and Youth, the Ministry of Labour, Social Solidarity and Family, the National Employment Agency, the Ministry of Health, the National Health Insurance House, and the National Authority for Child Protection and Adoption concerning the estimated number of persons who may benefit from integration-related activities during the following year. (2) This estimate may be rectified by the National Refugee Office in case circumstances created by events during the following year make such rectification necessary. CHAPTER V Assistance for Special Cases Art. 33. (1) In the sense of the present Ordinance, special cases are the aliens who were granted a form of protection in Romania who have a limited potential to support themselves, because of objective factors that are independent of their wish or will. (2) The following shall be considered special cases: a) disabled persons; b) persons who have reached the retirement age, but are not receiving a pension; c) unaccompanied minors; d) victims of torture; e) single parent families with minor children. Art. 34. (1) The cases mentioned under Article 33, paragraph (2), points a), b), d) and e) shall benefit from the same protection regime as those provided by the legislation in force for Romanian citizens in similar situations, and from assistance granted by the government institutions with responsibilities in the field. (2) The National Refugee Office, within the limits of the spaces and funding available, may provide accommodation in its own centers to individuals in the vulnerable groups listed under paragraph (1) who do not need specialized assistance, and who cannot receive housing from the relevant authorities. (3) For well-founded reasons, the National Refugee Office may approve the extension of the integration program for the persons mentioned under paragraph (1) also beyond the limits stipulated under Article 20. Art. 35. (1) In choosing a specific form of protection for the unaccompanied minors who were granted a form of protection in Romania, the best interests of the child shall be taken into account, which also include the preservation of their cultural identity. (2) Unaccompanied minors who were granted a form of protection in Romania shall be included in the child protection system, according to the legislation in the field. (3) The National Authority for Child Protection and Adoption shall undertake the actions needed to adapt the services provided to the specific needs of the unaccompanied minors who were granted a form of protection in Romania. CHAPTER VI The Budget Art. 36. Depending on the number of persons estimated for every year, as stipulated in Article 32, paragraph (1), the National Refugee Office shall propose the amounts to be allocated in the budget for the activities it conducts for the integration 14

15 of the aliens who were granted a form of protection in Romania, according to the provisions in the present Ordinance. Art. 37. The provisions under Article 36 shall apply correspondingly to the Ministry of Education, Research and Youth, the Ministry of Labour, Social Solidarity and Family, and the Ministry of Health. Art. 38. (1) In order to ensure that the activities in the integration programs are carried out in the best conditions, the responsible institutions, according to the present Ordinance, may use the services provided by interpreters and experts, under the terms of the law, in order to carry out these programs. (2) Payment for the services mentioned under paragraph (1) shall be made, under the terms of the law, from the funds earmarked for the integration of aliens who were granted a form of protection in Romania, included in the budgets of the relevant institutions. CHAPTER VII Final and Transitory Provisions Art. 39. (1) In order to ensure the achievement of the objectives formulated in the present Ordinance, a specialized integration structure shall be established within the National Refugee Office. (2) The responsibilities of the specialized integration structure, as well as its organizational chart shall be approved by Order of the Ministry of Administration and Interior. Art. 40. The National Refugee Office, together with other competent public institutions, shall cooperate with non-governmental organizations and international organizations in their area of competence in order to identify additional financial resources that are needed to carry out the integration programs for aliens who were granted a form of protection in Romania. Art. 41. Within the limits of the funding available, the National Refugee Office may conduct or commission studies, under the terms of the law, on the integration process of aliens who were granted a form of protection in Romania, and may promote public information and awareness campaigns. Art. 42. Two new paragraphs shall be introduced after paragraph (4) of Article 53 in Emergency Government Ordinance no. 150/2002 on the Organization and Operation of the Health Insurance System, published in Romania s Official Gazette, Part I, no. 838 of 20 November 2002, with subsequent amendments and additions. The new paragraphs (5) and (6) shall read as follows: "(5) In order to be included in the insurance scheme, aliens who were granted one of the forms of protection stipulated under Article 1, points a) and b) in Government Ordinance no. 102/2000 on the Status and Regime of Refugees in Romania, approved with amendments by Law no. 323/2001, with subsequent amendments, shall be under the obligation to pay an insurance contribution, according to the law, beginning with the date when they were granted a form of protection. (6) In order to be included in the insurance scheme, aliens who, before the Ordinance on the Social Integration of Aliens Who Have Been Granted a Form of Protection in Romania takes effect, have obtained one of the forms of protection stipulated under Article 1, points a) and b) in Government Ordinance no. 102/2000, approved with amendments by Law no. 323/2001, with subsequent amendments, shall be under the obligation to pay an insurance contribution, according to the law, 15

16 beginning with the date when the Ordinance on the Social Integration of Aliens Who Have Been Granted a Form of Protection in Romania takes effect." Art. 43. Article 39 in Government Ordinance no. 102/2000 on the Status and Regime of Refugees in Romania, published in Romania s Official Gazette, Part I, no. 436 of 3 September 2000, approved and amended by Law no. 323/2001, with subsequent amendments, shall be further amended and shall read as follows: "Art. 39. The Ministry of Administration and Interior, through the National Refugee Office, and together with the Ministry of Labour, Social Solidarity, and Family, as well as with other competent public institutions, shall initiate and carry out programs for the social integration of aliens who were granted one of the forms of protection stipulated under Article 1, points a) and b), under the terms of the law." Art. 44. This Ordinance shall take effect 90 days after its publication in Romania s Official Gazette, Part I. Art. 45. In order to ensure the implementation of the present Ordinance, the Ministry of Administration and Interior, together with the Ministry of Labour, Social Solidarity and Family, Ministry of Education, Research and Youth, and the Ministry of Health, shall develop a set of methodological norms, to be approved by Government Decision, within 90 days from the publication of the present Ordinance in Romania s Official Gazette, Part I. Art. 46. On the date when the present Ordinance takes effect, Government Decision no. 1191/2001 on approving the Special Program for the Social and Professional Integration of Aliens Who Were Granted Refugee Status in Romania, published in Romania s Official Gazette, Part I, no. 815 of 18 December 2001, shall be repealed. PRIME MINISTER ADRIAN NĂSTASE Countersigned by: Minister of Administration and Internal Affairs, Ioan Rus Delegated Minister for Public Administration, Gabriel Oprea Minister of Labour, Social Solidarity and Family, Elena Dumitru for the Minister of Public Finance, Gheorghe Gherghina, State Secretary Bucharest, 29 January No

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