Politics

Iohannis asks for constitutional check on Trianon Day law

Instead of signing it, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis referred the law passed last month by Parliament declaring a national holiday the day the Treaty of Trianon  signed 100 years ago to the country’s constitutional court on the grounds that it contravenes the fundamental law on several points, including the equal handling of the country’s citizens.

The several-pages long legal argument published in its entirety on the Presidential Office homepage mainly criticized the law for going against the principle of the separation of powers, arguing that the country’s legislation was transgressing into the domain of the executive branch.

“Considering the above arguments, I ask you to recognize the notice of unconstitutionality and conclude that the Law on declaring the day of June 4 The Day of the Treaty of Trianon is unconstitutional in its entirety,” says the document signed by Iohannis.

One of the peace treaties that officially ended World War I, the Treaty of Trianon divided more than two-thirds of the territory of the Kingdom of Hungary among its neighbors. These included the Kingdom of Romania, the Czechoslovak Republic, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes and – most ironically – the First Austrian Republic, the half of the Austro-Hungarian Empire that was in fact responsible for igniting (even if it was not the root cause of) World War I.

As a result, Hungary lost 72 percent of its territory and 64 percent of its population to the abovementioned neighboring countries.

At the time that Parliament passed the law for The Day of the Treaty of Trianon with a vast majority, Hunor Kelemen, President of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania, said during the debate that the Romanian majority “knowingly manufactures situations in which the other [side] feels humiliated and mocked.”

On the day Parliament passed the law, Romanian human rights organization Active Watch said the law was “a product toxic to society, with its sole effect being the stoking of nationalist tensions between the citizens of Romania.” They thus asked Iohannis not to sign it.

Title image: Romanian President Klaus Iohannis. (source: presidency.ro)

Author: Dénes Albert