The Council of Union Representatives (CRU) of the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) adopted on Saturday in Targu Mures the action plan for communities of the internal Diaspora (called szorvany), which entails actions meant to safeguard the identity of small Hungarian communities.
MEP Iuliu Winkler, who took part in the drafting of the strategy, stated on Saturday for Agerpres that the ‘internal Diaspora’ name is given to small Hungarian communities that live in areas in which Hungarians represent less than 10 per cent of the population and have weak representation in local councils.
“Four years ago we adopted an action plan; we have assessed it and after a debate we have outlined this new action plan for the next four years. The strategy contains concrete projects: Hungarian cultural centres for small communities, the Szorvany Day (which will fall on November 15, which coincides with the birthday of Transylvanian Prince Bethlen Gabor), and projects concerning annual Hungarian days,” Winkler said.
Another chapter concerns education in the mother tongue, youth and mass media, particularly the written press, which have to reach small communities with ageing population.
“We have had a strategy for several years, one we renew based on sociologic research. There are small communities that are predisposed to slow assimilation both from the point of view of their size and geographic location. We believe that if there are educational and cultural projects and the possibility to learn in Hungarian all the way to the Baccalaureate and beyond then they will have a much higher chance of keeping their national identity. These communities are the most vulnerable, that is why we’ve prepared a strategy to help them,” UDMR President Kelemen Hunor stated after the adoption of the strategy.
Kelemen Hunor: Party branches have to find candidates and devise projects by April 17
“I have set April 17 as the deadline for county branches to find candidates. We have three ways to do that – direct elections, direct pre-elections, selecting the candidates in general elections. I am convinced we will have credible candidates. It’s difficult to run in the local elections with a single project, because a certain community, a certain locality has well-defined priorities, well-defined problems, while another community, even one located close by, may have different priorities. In its case infrastructure investments may be resolved and maybe social and cultural issues are more important, and we want to treat these communities and this campaign in a case-by-case and well-targeted manner. That is why a specific project is needed for each locality,” UDMR President Kelemen Hunor (photo) said.
The UDMR President said that all these aspects will be clarified by April 23, when a new CRU meeting is scheduled in Satu Mare, despite the fact that this entails an enormous amount of work.
“I want us to win the elections, to ensure proportional representation and our people have to know that apart from the common good and serving society’s interests there are and will be no other priorities,” Kelemen Hunor stressed.
Marko Bela criticises U.S. ambassador: It’s inadmissible
Senator Marko Bela stated on Saturday at the CRU meeting in Targu Mures that “it is very good that the U.S. ambassador to Bucharest praises the implementation of certain projects, the enforcement of laws and explains the consequences of not enforcing the laws,” but it is not normal for him to say nothing about the problems facing the Hungarian community.
“We are in a very serious situation but we have to use freedom of expression. It’s absolutely frightening to criticise the U.S. ambassador but it’s not admissible for the ambassador to make statements and say positive things after every law, after every intervention on the authorities’ part, the judiciary’s part, but for him to say absolutely nothing about what is going on with our community. We are talking about 1.3 million people, of Hungarian ethnicity. Their situation does not matter? Because their situation was important in 1990, but now it is no longer? It’s inadmissible. It is very good that the U.S. ambassador is praising the implementation of certain projects, the enforcement of the laws and the consequences of not enforcing the laws, but shouldn’t he say something about the problems facing the Hungarian community?” Marko Bela stated according to the official translation.
The politician claims that it is obvious that there is the need for a “success story” between Romania and Hungary, of cooperation between the two states and that “it’s very clear that the U.S. wants to have influence in this region,” however nobody is wondering what is happening to the Hungarian minority.
“It’s very good that Romania and Hungary should be neighbouring countries and once again friends, that we should solve the general problems and the two countries should like each other. Yes, it’s very good, this is a strategy too, but what happens with us here in the meantime? How can some believe that if the general problems, in the economy and other domains, between the two countries are solved then the atmosphere will be very pleasant and the problems of the Hungarian minority in Romania will be resolved too? And many, at the same time, say that inter-ethnic tensions no longer represent a problem in Central and Eastern Europe, but at the same time we see very well what is going on in Ukraine. And it is very clear that the U.S. wants to have influence in this region. And if the U.S. wants to have influence, if it wants to have a significant say in this geographic region then very well. But then it cannot deny the existence of these problems, these inter-ethnic tensions?” Marko Bela stated for Agerpres.