Romania 🇷🇴 is an Eastern European country that primarily practices Orthodox Christianity. It borders Moldova, Ukraine, Hungary, Serbia and Bulgaria, and is a member of the European Union.

This page deals with censorship in Romania in the post-communist era, now that it is a member of the European Union.

General censorship[]

Article 30 of the Constitution of Romania, adopted in 1991 and amended in 2003, is dedicated to freedom of expression:

  1. "Freedom of expression of thoughts, opinions, or beliefs, and freedom of any creation, by words, in writing, in pictures, by sounds or other means of communication in public are inviolable.
  2. Any censorship shall be prohibited.
  3. Freedom of the press also involves the free setting up of publications.
  4. No publication shall be suppressed.
  5. The law may impose upon the mass media the obligation to make public their financing source.
  6. Freedom of expression shall not be prejudicial to the dignity, honour, privacy of a person, and to the right to one's own image.
  7. Any defamation of the country and the nation, any instigation to a war of aggression, to national, racial, class or religious hatred, any incitement to discrimination, territorial separatism, or public violence, as well as any obscene conduct contrary to morality shall be prohibited by law.
  8. Civil liability for any information or creation made public falls upon the publisher or producer, the author, the producer of the artistic performance, the owner of the copying facilities, radio or television station, under the terms laid down by law. Indictable offences of the press shall be established by law".

— Art. 30, Constitution of Romania


A 2008 report on "Labor Relations and Media" in South East European Network for Professionalization of Media (SEENPM) member countries noted that while in Romania there were no cases of direct censorship in mass media, there were indeed cases of "indirect censorship" or self-censorship.

Journalists risk their jobs in they do not respect the editorial policy decided by media owner, who might be a businessman protecting its business. Journalists who stay in line are rewarded.

In its report "The State of Romanian Mass Media 2020", the Center for Independent Journalism reiterated that self-censorship continues to be a problem in many newsrooms, wherein journalists are forced to tow a certain political line. The end result is that "less and less original stories come from reporters."


Before the World War II era[]

Back then, the Romanian Communist Party was not even popular and thus, Romanian society was not highly censored under the democracy before World War II. Until the start of the war, Romania tended to become closer to Western European countries; it tried to establish a free market economy, people had access to various books from all over the world, citizens could freely travel, there was a thorough educational system and a literature of its own. Romania had its own social infrastructure and citizens had freedom to some degree.

When it comes to the Romanian Communist Party, it had no way to gain popular support due to the Soviet Union being seen by Romania as an hostile neighbor until the end of World War II. Since the majority of the Romanian population was engaged in agriculture, there was no powerful native working class where the Communist Party could have form a base of support.

Petru Groza era (1945-1947)[]

In 1945 during the Soviet occupation, Petru Groza became the Prime Minister of Romania and his government started to implement Communism in the country. Citizens' Committees were formed to assist the police, which was justified by them to carry out random checks on people's documents on the street to search people's home without notifying and inspecting suspicious billeting refugees or Soviet officers. Widespread violent repression and abrupt communization of post-World War II Romania. The supporters of the Communist regime labelled oppositors as fascists, criminals or anti-national components under Western interests, blaming them for the destabilization of the country. Groza himself told to the British press in 1945 that about 90.000 Romanians were arrested in two months right after he seized the power. He also tried to get rid of the last obstacle to complete Soviet domination of Romania: overthrow the Kingdom of Romania ruled by King Michael I. In the last half of 1947, Michael I was still on the regime while the Soviets had a large influence on the economy. Even though pre-war Romania had some features of democracy such as a constitution, a parliament and political parties. As King Michael continuously refused to abdicate the throne, he was threatened by Groza with a civil war. Michael I wanted to avoid a bloodshed and abdicated on 30 December 1947, with the Romanian People's Republic being declared on that same day.

Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej era (1947-1965)[]

When the Romanian People's Republic was declared, Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej became the first president of the country and the Communist politicians, including himself, were eager to establish the foundation of the totalitarian state. As a first step, on 4 February 1948, a Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between Romania and the Soviet Union was signed. Soviet Union became a more influent power in Romania after the signing of this treaty and Gheorghiu-Dej carried out terrifying tasks imposed by Soviet Russia. As communism became widespread in Romania (backed up by the Soviet Union), there was a strong censorship throughout political, economic, and cultural sectors in the Romanian society.

Culturally, the communist regime of Romania often used party-state propaganda to erase all the symbols and artifacts of the pre-communist era which could have remained in people's mind. The communist party activists started the control of art "to eliminate and erase all traces of the previous configuration" and to dismantle the previous institutional model, etc. The communist Romanian government not only got rid of all the previous institutions and art legacies which were founded in the pre-communist era, but also physically eliminated many actors, musicians, painters etc. As Romania established the Soviet model of communization process, it was taken for granted for authorities to impose "physical (arrests, killings, institutional purges) and psychological repression (terror, corruption, compromise)". In the meantime, the communist Romanian government announced lists of forbidden volumes between 1944-1948 along with the lists of forbidden writers. Institutionally, the last thing Romanian government wanted was intellectuals who could be possible insurgents. Thus, government authorities expelled professors and students from universities and never let them come back again. At the same time, the “Cominform Journal” was published under the Communist Party's supervision and this was delivered all around the world as the journal was published in many languages. Cominform Journal specifically dealt with communism and was used to teach and spread the ideology all over the world and what were the right things to do under communism.

Politically, to suppress the prevalent anti-communism and anti-Sovietism at that time, the communist regime implemented many means of censorship everywhere in Romania. For instance, military force was mobilized to dismantle anti-communist movements. People involved in resistance movements were hunted down by the authorities and usually imprisoned. There was religious persecution in Romania when it came to Greek Catholics. As Romania became part of the communist bloc after World War II, the Romanian Communist Party considered religion as a capitalist remnant, which could make people confused about the country's ideology. Despite this, the Romanian Communist Party still wanted to keep churches as the party thought that religion could be used to mobilize people and thus, to achieve the party's socioeconomic and political goals. Under communism, the church and the Communist party made a contract: the party would not repress the church in exchange for its unconditional support. However, the church was still not allowed to pursue educational and charitable activities. There was even a patrimonial investigation made by authorities which claims that some people were punished for what their ancestors or kinship did. People could have been imprisoned just for having relatives abroad or making a joke against communism. In addition, the Romanian government limited the number of Americans to stay in the country. Though Romania back then had some American ambassadors or politicians in its own territories, the movements of those Americans were severely restricted by the Romanian government. Foreign diplomats were not allowed to travel around the country without a special permit or to go near the Black Sea coast. The Romanian government ruthlessly harassed people who had contact with American delegates. The government actually murdered persons, part of the local staff, by pumping too much sodium pentothal, the truth drug, into them as a punishment for being associated with the American legations.

Economically, the Soviet Union had taken control of Romania's economy by creating about 20-22 Soviet-Romanian joint companies, including the airline company, the steel mills, the insurance company, road transport, harbors, etc. The Soviets at that time seemed to thoroughly dominate the East European area.

Virtually every published document, be it a newspaper article or a book, had to pass the censor's approval. The strictness of the censorship varied with time, the tightest being during the Stalinist era of the 1950s and the loosest during the early period of Nicolae Ceaușescu's rule, which ended with the July Theses in 1971. The purpose of the censorship apparatus was to subordinate every aspect of the Romanian culture (including literature, history, art and philosophy) to the Communist Party's ideology. All features of the Romanian culture were reinterpreted according to the regime's ideology, and any other interpretations were banned as forms of "bourgeois decadence".

Nicolae Ceaușescu era (1965-1989)[]

Under Ceaușescu's second communist Romanian regime, propaganda material was the only available information to the public across the country and even this material (spread mostly via the national television and the party's newspapers) was controlled by the regime through its methods of sanction. Since the mobilization of the population through written material was almost impossible, unofficial information was going around through gossip. Many foreign movies, music and books were also banned. At the same time, Nicolae Ceaușescu terrorized the population by obliging it to see his and his wife, Elena's portrait everywhere: "From pre-kindergarten classrooms to official offices, the walls of every institution in every corner of the country were required to be adorned with photographs of the couple". Ceaușescu purposely destroyed individual privacy. From the mid-1980s, due to the austerity policy imposed by Ceaușescu, Romanians had limited access to electricity, heat and water, and also food was scarce.

Post-communist era (1990-present)[]

Since 1990 state censorship does not officially exist in Romania and attempts by state organizations have been only minor. The only high-profile state action was in the Armagedon scandal, when a citizen was arrested for e-mailing reports that were seen as damaging to then Prime Minister Adrian Năstase's image. The official accusation was spreading of false information, but the accusations have been dropped.

Book censorship[]

Currently, there are no books banned in Romania. Sometimes, when the book is released in Romania, the edits from other countries are used.

Internet censorship[]

Law 124/2015, passed on June 12, 2015, held that:

"Providers of networks and services of electronic communications [...] are obliged to respect the decisions of the Supervisory Board of [National Office for Gambling (ONJN)] on restricting access to the websites of gambling unauthorized in Romania, as well as those on advertising gambling organized by a gambling operator which is unlicensed in Romania". — Law 124/2015

According to the Civil Liberties Union for Europe this amount as establishing internet censorship. The most serious fact are that the decision can be taken by an administrative authority, without court intervention, and that the measures targets not only unauthorized gambling websites themselves, but also those advertising them. European Digital Rights (EDRi) advocacy group questions whether Facebook, YouTube or Google could become a target, too.

Since the restriction is operated by Internet service providers (ISP) through block and redirect to the ONJN website, which is the able to collect data about users who attempted to navigate to an unauthorized gambling website. While DNS blocking can be bypassed, according to ICANN it can damage internet security. Moreover, while at the moment the infrastructure is used only for unauthorized gambling website, it could be potentially used for other purposes. The Law on Prevention and Combat of Pornography (No. 196/2003) says that all pornographic sites must be accessible only after entering a password and after the patron paid a tax per minute of access. Also, such activities must be authorised by a commission of the Ministry of Culture and Cults, which will include representatives of the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. All sites which feature paedophile, necrophile and zoophile pornography are banned.

The sites which do not respect this law may be added to a black list by the National Authority of Regulation in Communications and the ISPs which do not filter out the sites in the list within 48 hours will be fined 10,000-50,000 lei (3,400-17,000 USD). The sites are added to the black list after denounces from private citizens, sites which are then verified by the Authority.

In 2008, 40 of pornographic websites were blocked due of many children accessing the websites, however, one website, which it wasn't pornographic, 220.ro, one of the video-sharing websites of Romania, was also blocked. In December 2011, it was lifted.

In 2009, the sport betting websites were blocked due of being illegal, most of them had no government license. In 2013 the Romanian National Gambling Office was formed to regulate and license online gambling in Romania. Some of the websites are currently blocked and it has without a license. Whilst the ONJN deem it illegal to bet on unlicensed sites in Romania they can not restrict access to other informational data present on those sites.

Some of the file-sharing websites, like The Pirate Bay, and free movie streaming websites, like Filme Online, was also blocked by Internet ISPs (either Digi [RCS&RDS], Vodafone, Telekom, Digital Cable Systems [AKTA] or Orange).

In 2010, the online forums are blocked due of containing too much profanity, but later, it was lifted and it was ignored.

As of 2020, none of the websites are blocked, expect for some of the sport betting websites.

Movie censorship[]


In Romania, films are rated by the National Center of Cinematography (Romanian: Centrul Național al Cinematografiei) (CNC).

  • AG (audiență generală) – General audience.
  • AP-12 (acordul părinților pentru copiii sub 12 ani) – Parental guidance for children under 12.
  • N-15 (nerecomandat tinerilor sub 15 ani) – Not recommended for children under 15.
  • IM-18 (interzis minorilor) – Prohibited to minors under 18.
  • IM-18-XXX (interzis minorilor și proiecției cu public) – Prohibited to minors under 18 and projection in public.
  • IC (interdicție de comunicare) – Prohibition of communication.

Instances of movie censorship[]

  • 1968: Reconstituirea (The Reenactment) - Withdrawn from the cinemas one year after its premiere. According to its director's, Lucian Pintilie, Securitate (the Communist Romanian Secret Police) files, the film "contains lengthy and minute reports on the film, and documents the negative reaction of official critics (quoted saying that the film is "mediocre" or "mean"), but also the appreciation from the part of more rebellious intellectual" (as the film subtly criticises Ceaușescu's regime). The film was recovered and unbanned after the 1989 Revolution, which overthrew the Communist regime.
  • 1981-90: Carnival Scenes - Banned from the personal order of Nicolae Ceaușescu due to violent content.
  • 2008: Saw IV - Banned upon release. Later reclassified and prohibited only to minors.
  • 2009: Milk - Banned upon release. Later reclassified and prohibited only to under-15s.
  • 2014: Nymphomanic Vol. II - Classified by the National Cinema Center's rating commission as a film "forbidden to minors under 18 and banned from public screening" due to explicit content. After outrage at decision in mass media and on social networking websites, the commission allowed cinemas to run the film for audiences over 18.

Television censorship[]

  • During the communist regime, the weather forecasts were manipulated in order that the temperatures were not seen to rise above or fall below the levels which dictated that work must stop.


Cartoon Network[]

  • Adventure Time - The show was made more family friendly. Also, some episodes were banned, and some epsiodes are not available to stream on HBO Max in Romania.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball - One scene was edited and replaced. Also, one episode was also banned on television because it contained sexual connotations.
  • Clarence - One episode was banned, but it was released online instead of being broadcast on TV.
  • Mao Mao: Heroes of Pure Heart - One episode was banned due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes - The show was made more family friendly. Also, one episode was banned due to heavily violence.
  • Regular Show - Crude language was removed. Also, one episode was banned due to extremely violence and crime, and some epsiodes are not available to stream on HBO Max in Romania.
  • Teen Titans - Season 5 was not aired due to heavily murder, violence and crime.
  • Teen Titans Go! - Some episodes were banned due to having more violence.
  • Uncle Grandpa - Two episodes were banned due to having more violence. Cartoon Network CEE did not aired the entire episodes of Season 5, despite airing the finale.
  • Yo-kai Watch - The violence was toned down, and the show was made more family friendly. Also, most of the episodes were banned due to heavily violence.


  • Braceface - The episode "Busted" was banned due to its plot concerning Sharon wearing a special bra to make her chest larger in order to impress a boy she has a crush on.


  • Breadwinners - It was originally to air on Nickelodeon CEE, but later it was refused due to unknown reasons. Currently, the series airs on Nicktoons CEE.
  • The Loud House - The episodes containing LGBT content, such as the episodes with Harold and Howard McBride and Sam, were not aired and banned. As of Season 4, the episodes containing LGBT content, are airing.

Video game censorship[]

Although Romania uses the PEGI rating system, some of the video games are censored, but sometimes, it uses the edits from other countries.

Other censorship[]

Romania also censors other things, not only video games, books, TV shows, movies and the internet.

  • During a song being played on airplay in a radio station or a television channel, most of the swear words are either censored or replaced to make more appropriate for a younger audience. Sometimes it uses the Malaysian edits.
  • Some of the music are also high-pitched during an airplay due to copyright.

External links[]