Romania Table of Contents
Founded in 1949, the Union of Communist Youth (Uniunea Tineretului Comunist-- UTC, see Glossary) was modelled after Komsomol (the Soviet communist youth organization). Having essentially the same organizational structure as the PCR, the UTC was both a youth political party and a mass organization. Its mission was to educate young people in the spirit of communism and mobilize them, under the guidance of the PCR, for the building of socialism. The UTC organized political and patriotic courses in schools, among peasant groups, and among workers and members of the armed forces. It also guided and supervised the activities of the Union of Communist Student Associations.
In the 1980s, the UTC remained one of the most powerful mass organizations in the country, having a membership of some 3.7 million in 1984 compared with 2.5 million in early 1972. Membership was open to persons between the ages of fifteen and twenty-six; UTC members over eighteen could also become members of the PCR. The Tenth Party Congress in 1969 introduced the requirement that applicants under the age of twenty-six would be accepted into the party only if they were UTC members.
The structure of the UTC underwent a number of changes in the decades following its creation. In early 1984, the organization functioned on the national level with an eight-member Secretariat, including the first secretary, who was also the UTC chairman, and a bureau of twenty-one full and ten candidate members. The first secretary of the UTC also held the position of minister of youth. In the late 1980s, Ceausescu's son, Nicu, functioned as UTC first secretary. In each of the forty judete and the city of Bucharest, UTC committees were patterned after the national-level organization. The UTC had its own publishing facilities and published its own propaganda organ, Scinteia Tineretului (The Spark of Youth).
A second youth movement, the Pioneers, was created for young people between the ages of nine and fourteen. The organization's responsibilities paralleled those of the UTC and involved political and patriotic training. Until 1966 the Pioneers functioned as an integral part of the UTC, but thereafter it was under the direct control of the party Central Committee.
Data as of July 1989