Romania Table of Contents
The PCR fostered the development of a large number of mass organizations that functioned as its auxiliaries. These included traditional mass organizations (youth, labor, and women's organizations) and new types of political mass organizations such as the National Council of Working People. Mass organizations representing major ethnic groups also emerged.
Citizens were constitutionally guaranteed the right to join together in organizations. At the same time, the Constitution defined the leading role of the party in relation to the mass organizations, asserting that through such organizations the PCR "achieves an organized link with the working class, the peasantry, the intelligentsia, and other categories of working people and mobilizes them in the struggle for the completion of the building of socialism."
There were two broad classes of mass organizations: those based on common interests and categories of persons, such as youth and women's associations; and those based on professions, such as the General Union of Trade Unions (Uniunea Generala (Generala) a Sindicatelor din Romānia, UGSR--see Glossary). Several of the groups belonged to international organizations and associations, such as the World Federation of Trade Unions and the World Federation of Democratic Youth.
In November 1968, the Council of Working People of Hungarian Nationality and the Council of Working People of German Nationality were established. The former had units in fifteen judete, and the latter was active in nine. In judete with substantial Serbian or Ukrainian populations, local councils were established for these groups. The nationality councils were affiliated with the Socialist Democracy and Unity Front.
The purpose of the nationality councils, Ceausescu declared, was to "cultivate socialist patriotism, socialist internationalism, and devotion to our new order and to the common fatherland . . . against any backward nationalistic concepts and manifestations." Although the councils facilitated communication between the PCR and ethnic groups, they functioned primarily as transmitters of official nationality policies. During the 1980s, the councils served as a forum for expressing Romanian nationalism in the prolonged dispute with neighboring Hungary on the question of minority rights in Transylvania.
Data as of July 1989