UMD Deeply Mourns Passing of Romanian Macedonian Leader Liana Dumitrescu

January 27, 2011 – Washington, D.C. – UMD deeply mourns the sudden passing of Liana Dumitrescu, the first Romanian Member of Parliament of Macedonian heritage, and head of the Romanian Macedonian community for over a decade. She died this morning in Bucharest at the age of 38; she had just celebrated her 38th birthday on January 20th.

“I am deeply disturbed by this morning’s news of Liana’s sudden death. Liana was a friend, an inspirational leader full of vigor, fully dedicated to the Macedonian cause,” said UMD President Metodija A. Koloski. “She was a leader, who commanded respect throughout Romania, Macedonia, and the Macedonian global community working tirelessly to advance the interests of Romania’s Macedonian minority and Romania-Macedonia relations.”

Liana Dumitrescu was presented with the UMD Human Rights Award at the 2nd Annual UMD Global Conference on June 5, 2010 in Toronto for her decade-long fight to gain full rights for the Macedonian minority in Romania. She had attended the 1st Annual UMD Global Conference in Washington, D.C. in 2009 where she spoke on the rights of Macedonians in Romania.

Dumitrescu’s involvement in the Macedonian community in Romania was extensive. In 2000, she helped found the Macedonian Association of Romania, of which she served as its Vice President from 2004-2011. In 2002, Liana succeeded in placing Macedonian on the official Romanian census, and in 2008, succeeded in getting state funds for the education of the Macedonian language in primary schools throughout Romania. She was the co-author of the book History of the Macedonian Minority in Romania and director of the monthly newsletter Macedoneanul.

Under her leadership, Romania became the first and only European Union and NATO member-state to officially recognize the Macedonian community as an official minority of Romania.

Liana Dumitrescu was born and raised in Romania. Her ancestors arrived in Romania from Macedonia in the 17th and 18th centuries. Liana was a lawyer by trade having earned her law degree from the University of Bucharest in 1996. She attended both the Romanian National Institute of Administration and the Romanian Diplomatic Institute, taking courses related to development and project management and international relations and European integration respectively. She was working on her doctorate degree from the University of Bucharest in history before she passed away.

Dumitrescu had her own private legal practice from 1996-1997. She moved on to work as a legal adviser in the Romanian Parliament to the Chamber of Deputies (one of Romanian Parliament’s highest bodies) till 2004. During 2002-2003, she worked as an expert in the Romanian Constitution Review Commission and from 2003-2004 was part of the joint Commission of Deputies Chamber and Senate to develop electoral laws. From 2004-2006, she worked as the Secretary of the Parliamentary Group of National Minorities.

She had been a Member of Parliament elected as the representative of the Macedonian community of Romania from 2004, and was elected for two consecutive terms as a member of the Chamber of Deputies. Liana was a lecturer at the University Mihai Viteazu’s Law School in Commercial and Roman Law.

“Liana was an exemplary role model for all Macedonian human rights advocates worldwide,” said Koloski. “She will be truly missed by all of us.”

UMD extends deepest condolences to Liana’s mother Constantina, her entire family, and the Macedonian community of Romania.