The Romanian Foreign Ministry denounced a recent Hungarian economic development plan for ethnic Hungarians on its territory saying that it was not coordinated with Romanian authorities and was ethnically biased.
“According to widely accepted international standards, extending economic aid goes beyond the preferential treatment a state grants its ethnic minorities on the territory of another state, therefore such measures can only be promoted with the consent of the Romanian side and without any discrimination based on ethnic criteria,” the Romanian foreign ministry (MAE) said in a statement.
A week ago, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szíjjártó announced in Arad (western Romania), that following the success of the economic development program targeting Hungarian businesses in Szeklerland, the Hungarian government has decided to extend the program to the Partium region (the northwest Romanian region neighboring Hungary and the Ukraine).
“Small and medium-sized businesses from Hargita/Harghita, Kovászna/Covasna, and Maros/Mureș counties have submitted 5,291 applications requesting development funds totaling HUF 21.5 billion (EUR 64.5 million). Considering the success of the program, we have agreed with Mr. Hunor Kelemen that the next stage of the economic development program will target the Partium area when launched in November,” Szíjjártó said. The details are still under wraps, but Szíjjártó told journalists that locations and domains eligible for development funding will be decided based on suggestions made by the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ).
The MAE also said that it had repeatedly asked Hungary to implement the project “only with the involvement of Romanian authorities, in a transparent and non-discriminatory manner, observing Romanian legislation and the internal market regulations of the European Union and taking into account the (Romanian) strategies and programs concerning regional development.”
Title image: Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szíjjártó (L) and RMDSZ president Hunor Kelemen (R) meet in Arad, Romania on October 7 (MTI/Mitko Sztojcsev)