The Romanian Parliament’s public administration committee approved a draft submitted by Social-Democrat (PSD) MP and former foreign minister Titus Corlățean that would declare June 4, the date of the signing of the Treaty of Trianon, a national holiday. The draft is thus only one final vote and the president’s approval away from becoming law.
In the often-strained relations between Romania’s majority population and its ethnic Hungarian minority – and also between the two neighboring European Union and NATO member states – there is no issue that causes more division and often bitter disputes than the Treaty of Trianon, signed on June 4, 1920.
One of the peace treaties that officially ended World War I, said treaty divided more than two-thirds of the territory of the Kingdom of Hungary between 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 above-mentioned neighboring countries.
In reaction to the draft, RMDSZ caucus leader Attila Korodi said that while the December 1 celebration, in which Romania remembers the union of Transylvania with its two other Romanian provinces, has some positive connotations, celebrating the Treaty of Trianon will only stoke division and turn the two communities against one another.
“…a Trianon-day is nothing more than a demonstration of power and might,” Korodi said on his Facebook page.
In June 2019, the Hungarian Parliament passed a law declaring 2020 the “Year of National Unity,” in remembrance of the Treaty of Trianon, while in 2010 it declared June 4 the “Day of National Unity.” Both are more positive in name than the national mourning they are meant to symbolize.
Title image: The Hungarian delegation at the signing of the Treaty of Trianon, on June 4, 1920 (source: Wikimedia Commons)