In terms of its material possibilities, the situation of Hungarians in Transylvania has improved in the past eight years, but in terms of its hopes and optimism there has been a halt – Hunor Kelemen, President of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ) said in a recent interview.
Kelemen (51) has been at the helm of the organization since 2011 having so far served two terms and is the only candidate for the position at next week’s electoral congress.
“(After the 1989 revolution) We started from nothing, our rights have been on a continuous improvement and everything seemed possible. Now we don’t feel the same way: the expansion of rights has stopped and they are even attempting to take away what we have achieved”, Kelemen said.
He said that while Romania has overcome an economic crisis and the economy is performing well, old political habits are holding it back from living up to its potential.
“As a result of bad political disputes and a lack of national vision Romania is unable to exploit the possibilities of regional cooperation, although the geographic and geopolitical conditions are there. Point in case: the country’s current EU presidency – in purely technical terms the country will absolve its duties, but it is a huge question whether there will be any progress in the issue of Schengen (Romania joining the border-free zone of the EU), which should be a core interest of the country.”
Kelemen also said that regarding the upcoming European Union elections in May, the EU was in need of reforming its political and defense setup and also come up with solutions for the unsolved issues such as immigration and the protection of its external borders.
But where the RMDSZ could best serve the EU is the issue of its indigenous minorities.
“What is especially important for us remains unsolved. Europe has an indigenous minority of some 50-60 million people. Based on our own example, we know very well how much more a community can live up to its potential if its energies aren’t spent on fighting for its own rights. This is the essence of our minority protection initiative”, Kelemen said.