Online self-enumeration - the first stage in the population and household
census in Romania, which was due to end on Sunday - got extended by another two
weeks. The National Statistics Institute president, Tudorel Andrei, said that
the decision factored in the high interest displayed by Romanians in recent
days, when the average rate of online self-enumeration went up four times
compared to the early period. Besides, this method of collecting personal data
will save up to 2 Euro for every online questionnaire. Tudorel Andrei expressed
satisfaction with the functioning of the online platform so far, considering it
represents a first for Romania.
"There are nearly one million requests to fill the online questionnaire
every day, of which nearly half are finalized. Our colleagues from the Special
Telecommunications Service have provided us with their full support, and
whenever drawbacks are reported, I assure you we are doing everything possible
to solve them in due time. We want to exceed the 50% mark".
So far, over 8.4 million Romanians have completed the online
self-enumeration questionnaires, accounting for 44% of the total population,
the same percentage reported in Bulgaria for instance, although higher compared
to other European states. Tudorel Andrei also said that people who stay abroad
for periods exceeding a year must not fill in the online forms, with the
exception of properties they own in Romania. Moreover, the Institute president
said there are a number of sanctions that apply to citizens providing false
information or refusing to provide censors with their personal data.
Conversely, self-enumeration remains a voluntary procedure. As for the final
results of the census, Kelemen Hunor, the president of UDMR, says they will
determine public policy-making in the future.
"We've had a very strong awareness-raising campaign, highlighting the
importance of self-enumeration, because it's important to show we are a strong
community. The self-enumeration stage went very well, and it's important for
our community. We told people to fill in the online questionnaire and assert
their cultural, ethnic, religious and linguistic identity - it's an important
element that connects us to the present and future of our community."
A national census started on March 14 in Romania. People who don't
complete the self-enumeration process will be visited by a censor over May 31 -
July 17 at home. The census originally slated for 2021, but it was postponed
due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The census is held every 10 years and is
necessary to produce national and European statistics. (VP)