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December 2, 2021

Hungary invokes “Romanian model for granting citizenship”

After winning the Parliamentary elections in Hungary with a two-thirds majority, Fidesz presented yesterday, on day one of the Parliamentary sitting, the law that provisions granting the Hungarian citizenship to all Hungarians living in neighboring states. The law could be voted on June 4 (90 years after the signing of the Trianon Treaty) and will come into force on August 20 (Hungary’s National Day). Slovakia reacted harshly to the citizenship law, announcing that it will withdraw the Slovak citizenship of all those that will ask for a Hungarian passport. According to ‘Adevarul’ daily, in order to calm the states that have significant Hungarian minorities, the Hungarian politicians invoke “the Romanian model for granting citizenship.”

The law would benefit not only Hungarians in Romania and Slovakia but also those in Serbia and Ukraine which could thus be able to travel freely within the EU. “Following the Romanian model we too will grant citizenships at an accelerated rhythm,” Vice Premier Zsolt Semjen stated after Foreign Affairs Minister Janos Martonyi pointed out “the law will be no different than the ones existing in neighboring countries – Romania, Serbia, Croatia and Slovakia.” Slovakia’s reaction was swift. Premier Robert Fico immediately convened the Security Council in order to discuss the matter. Bucharest had no official reaction, probably because the Romanian legislation tolerates double citizenship.

Attila Korodi, president of the Lower Chamber’s Foreign Policy Commission stated for ‘Adevarul’ daily that the law proposed by Fidesz “is not a radical step.” Romania’s former Foreign Affairs Minister Adrian Cioroianu stated that “the Fidesz proposal to grant double citizenship to the Hungarians living outside Hungary won’t have a positive effect on the medium term. It is rather Fidesz’s attempt to give off the impression, immediately after the elections, that it is applying a more offensive policy in what concerns the Magyars in Transylvania.

The fear of a Magyar “offensive” is also emphasized by ‘Jurnalul National’ daily that published yesterday an ample interview with His Holiness Ioan Selejan, Archbishop of Covasna and Harghita Counties. In it the Archbishop pointed out the unwanted disappearance of Romanians and of the Romanian language from the centre of Romania, from the Harghita and Covasna Counties (where the ethnic Magyars form the majority). “Over here if one doesn’t know the Hungarian language one won’t be able to enter a company or an institution. Over here tolerance is put on hold,” the Archbishop warned. On the other hand he pointed out that “where there are companies in which Romanians and Hungarians work side by side there are no inter-ethnic tensions.”

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