Szekler autonomy no threat to Romania’s integrity

Deputy Prime Minister of Romania Hunor Kelemen, leader of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (known by its Hungarian acronym RMDSZ), stated in a television show on Tuesday, in answer to a question related to the autonomy of Szeklerland, that none of the forms of autonomy affect the unity and territorial integrity of the Romanian State.

“We have stated each time that there is a need for an extremely balanced approach with well-formulated arguments, and each time, we have to emphasize that neither the local autonomy, nor the regional autonomy, in fact, none of the forms of autonomy affect the unity and territorial integrity of the Romanian State. This is a fact that has to be specified each time, and I always make sure that whenever we are seriously discussing the subject of any kind of subsidiarity or autonomy, we begin with this phrase: It does not affect the territorial integrity and national unity.”- stated Hunor Kelemen in a show on Antena 3.

The leader of RMDSZ stated that Szekler autonomy means subsidiarity and making decisions  at the level of the community, not breaking away.

“Yes, there is this sensitivity, which, in my opinion, is not justified, but I do understand it because people have the impression that autonomy means breaking away. But it does not mean breaking away. Autonomy means that you get to make the decisions that concern your life. Considering this, subsidiarity is valid for every local community, not only for Szeklerland; it is not valid for just one part of the country. Yes, where ethnic Hungarian people or other ethnic communities live, another matter intervenes: language. This is something different for Oltenia, Moldova or Greater Wallachia. Authorities in each area need to recognize the need for ethnic language, and this goes beyond the school and local institutions. Otherwise, decisions are left in the hands of local communities in a similar fashion for most fields, with a few exceptions. I have always maintained that in regard to external affairs, Justice, Defense, Public Order, all decisions must be handled by the central authority. This is what we are talking about.” – said the Deputy Prime Minister of Romania. He also pointed out that Szeklerland is a part of Romania just like the Land of Moți or Dobruja or other regions and that in our country we have several regional identities.

Kelemen also referred to the statements made by president Klaus Iohannis, according to which PSD made a deal with RMDSZ “to give Transylvania to the Hungarians.” Kelemen maintains his opinion that the leader of the State made a mistake but believes this was part of his election campaign of the time. In any event, it cannot be forgotten.

He also mentioned that he proposed and will continue to try to propose that the issues of the Hungarian minority be separated from internal political debates and fights because tensions rise and the loyalty of the Hungarians in Romania is then questioned.

“If every time the great Romanian parties get into a fight — not with us, the country or the citizens but among themselves — because this is the nature of politics, they then also include us in the conflict, and tensions immediately appear. People say: If he says that Hungarians want to steal Transylvania, that Hungarians want to harm Romania, then there is a problem. In fact, we never wanted and do not want to do any harm to Romania, neither I nor my colleagues. This is our country, we stayed here, we never left, just as our parents never left, nor did our ancestors. We wish to build a better country together with the Romanians. So this has to be the perspective. If the loyalty of the Hungarians in Romania is continuously questioned, this is a problem indeed because I was born here, I am a Romanian citizen and just as any other person in this country respects the country, I am also loyal, as are all Hungarians. There is no need to always question the loyalty of Hungarians because it is not correct,” Hunor Kelemen pointed out.

Regarding the Szekler flag, the leader of RMDSZ noted that this is part of the symbolism of a community in Romania and that “it is not against Romanians or Romania” just as “the Szeklers are not against Romanians or Romania.”

Featured image: bocskairadio.hu



Author: Blanka Székely