Romania could lose its Hungarian community – RFE

Unless Bucharest begins to address in earnest the demands of the Hungarian minority in Romania, it could well find itself in a situation where said minority will have its problems solved by others instead – such as Hungary or even Austria, Radio Free Europe (RFE) writes in an article.

The Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ) has a mixed relationship with the ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD). The party may already had lost its majority in the lower house of parliament and may sorely need the RMDSZ votes in case there is a motion of no confidence. RMDSZ may only be inclined to keep PSD in power – a party ethnic Hungarians have no love for – if it receives something in return, such as the cultural autonomy it has been asking for 30 years or a law on the status of national minorities requested by the European Union since 2003.

But it has asked none of the above, demanding instead that the Romanian parliament puts into lawthe promises the Romanian nation made to itself and its minorities at the 1918 resolution adopted at the Romanian popular assembly in Gyulafehérvár/Alba Iulia proclaiming the unification of Romania with Transylvania and three other Western territories of the then Hungarian Kingdom.

Point III/1 of the resolution, says “Every nation has the right to tuition and governance in its own language, by representatives chosen from its own. Every nation shall be represented in legislative bodies and governing organs in accordance with its individuals’ proportion.”

It may, on the surface, seem like a law, but it does not function like a law: it is more of a political resolution in which RMDSZ marks a new era in its activity.

The Hungarians in Romania are well-organized and their voice is heard even in Brussels and Washington. Since Viktor Orbán became Prime MInister of Hungary in 2010, his cabinet – beyond its rhetoric – has also put its money where its mouth is. They are helping the Hungarian minority to the tune 85 million euros in the coming months.

All the attempts of ethnic Hungarian politics in Romania for decentralization are meant to demonstrate that the Romanian government is reluctant to give them more autonomy. Hungary is already giving the two Hungarian-inhabited counties more money than the Romanian government redirects towards them as less-developed regions.

Transylvania also has good relations with Budapest and even Vienna. Soon enough, the Hungarian government will itself solve the social, economic, educational and cultural problems of the ethnic Hungarians, effectively taking out the community from under the Romanian umbrella. And this could entail risks Romanian officials haven’t even begun to consider.

Title image: RMDSZ President Hunor Kelemen


Author: Dénes Albert