POLITICS

Ethnic Hungarian political formations demand territorial autonomy for Szekely Land. UDMR’s Kelemen: The three forms of autonomy must be discussed with the Romanian majority and codified in terms of legislation

In a joint move, the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR), the Hungarian Civic Party (PCM) and the Hungarian People’s Party of Transylvania (PPMT) on Monday inked a Resolution in northwestern Cluj-Napoca, demanding the territorial autonomy of the Székely Land as well as a special status for the Partium region.

The Resolution was signed by the chairpersons of the three formations: Kelemen Hunor (UDMR), Biro Zsolt (PCM) and Szilagyi Zsolt (PPMT).

“We, the representatives of the Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania, the Hungarian Civic Party and the Hungarian People’s Party of Transylvania, acting as responsible and legitimate representatives of the Hungarian community, jointly agree upon the following fundamental principles to harmonizing the autonomy concepts: 1. The Hungarians in Transylvania live in different inter-ethnic situations, have different possibilities, projects and visions and for these reasons, they need various forms of autonomy: Regional autonomy for the Hungarians with the Szekely Land, administrative autonomy for the localities where the Hungarian population is in majority and cultural autonomy for all the Hungarians in Romania. 2. We consider that the territorial autonomy of the Szekely Land should stand for an autonomous region in its historical boundaries. Its decision-making body should have regional legislative and executive competencies in education, culture, information, economy as well as in the running of its own public administration’s apparatus. As regards the status of the Hungarian language in the region, it should be equal to that of the Romanian language. We believe that the administration of the Szekely Land could be efficient and will serve the interests of the citizens, if grounded on the structure of the former Szeklers’ Seats, by taking in consideration the changes that have taken place ever since,” the Resolution reads.

According to the text, “the establishment of the special, bilingual administrative status of the Partium region, where more than one third of the Hungarian community of Transylvania lives, is our joint goal.”

Another point of the Resolution refers to the cultural autonomy.

“Cultural autonomy means self-administration for all Hungarians in Romania in education, public information as well as in the essential fields of preserving and perpetuating the national identity and culture. (…) Its’ being acknowledged by the law and the creation of an institutional system is the only viable solution on the long term to ensure the Hungarian communities living as a minority in various regions of Transylvania, sometimes in scattered communities, the preservation of their national identity and prosperity on the native land,” the document says.

 

UDMR’s Kelemen: The three forms of autonomy must be discussed with the Romanian majority and codified in terms of legislation

 

Upon signing the document by the three political leaders, Kelemen Hunor said the said autonomy concepts should be legislated, some of which only after the Constitution gets amended.

In a press conference held after signing the document, Kelemen Hunor stated that they want to reiterate “those goals and principles that are guiding us in the Romanian political life since 28 years ago”.

“This text was finalized in December, but due to objective reasons, namely the Christmas and New Year holidays, we will sign the text now” the UDMR leader said, according to news.ro.

Kelemen Hunor mentioned that the document refers to three types of autonomy, namely the regional or territorial autonomy, the local autonomy for those communities living in interethnic conditions, and the cultural autonomy, first of all for Diaspora.

“These three forms of autonomy must be discussed at a certain time, as soon as possible, if possible in 2018, with the Romanian majority and codified in terms of legislation” the UDMR Chairman said.

“27 or 28 years ago, in the first UDMR program, there was a goal which all of us agreed, regardless of what happened. This goal appeared later also in the programs of the political parties founded afterwards. The goals and the principles remained the same. It is true that there have been times when the matter of the autonomy apparently divided those who were the legitimate representatives of the various parties. We believe that now, on the occasion of celebrating 25 years since the Cluj Declaration, it is important to reiterate those goals, to speak of those forms of autonomy which, in our opinion, will ensure the institutional framework needed to keep the cultural ethnic national identity in Romania, on the native land, and to contribute to the development of the Romanian society, generally” the UDMR leader also stated.

Kelemen Hunor added that the autonomy “functioned and functions in many European states”, and it is “the key of development”.

“In the centenary year, we proposed and propose a dialogue with the Romanian majority. It is a proper time to speak about the promises from Alba Iulia since 100 hundred years ago. We believe that by dialogue we can find those solutions, legislative and administrative ways by which the goals of the Hungarian community can be achieved” Kelemen Hunor said.

PCM Chairman Biro Zsolt pointed out that the three Hungarian political parties are sitting at the same table in order to adopt a common position regarding an important matter.

“The fact that, 25 years after the Cluj Declaration, we sign a document promoting these principles, gives a significance to this document” Biro Zsolt said.

PPMT Chairman Szilagyi Zsolt stated that “Hungarian parties in Transylvania unanimously reaffirm those values based on which we started the Hungarians’ policy in 1990”.

“There have been several variants of the text, there have been political conflicts in the past years, but it is normal to have debates and different positions in a pluralist society. The fact that we can align on these principles means that the Hungarian community’s desire for freedom, for exercising the various forms of autonomy, is legitimate and viable” Szilagyi Zsolt said.

“Many skeptical people are wondering why after 100 years since we were promised respect for the right to self-determination and autonomy, why we continue to be honest citizens creating values, loyal citizens of Romania. I believe that autonomy is the supreme declaration of loyalty to the Romanian state” the PPMT Chairman also said.

 

 

 

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