The Magyar political parties’ (UDMR, PPMT and PCM) signing of a Joint Declaration on harmonising their concepts of autonomy – an event that took place on Monday in Cluj-Napoca – in order to have a joint stance in any future debate on the topic, including in their rapports with Romanian authorities, has sparked, as expected, prompt and vehement reactions from politicians.
The document talks about three types of autonomy – territorial, local, and cultural – that the Magyar parties want to discuss with Romanian politicians for them “to be codified from a legislative standpoint.”
The resolution that the three Magyar political parties (UDMR, PPMT and PCM) signed on Monday in Cluj-Napoca shows that the desire is the obtainment of the territorial autonomy of the Szekely Land, which should become “an autonomous region within its historical borders” and should have a regional decision-making body with legislative and executive prerogatives in the fields of education, culture, information, economy, but also in the field of the functioning of its own public administration apparatus.
Dragnea: The Magyars’ resolution on the autonomy of the Szekely Land is unconstitutional and unnegotiable
Social Democratic Party (PSD) leader Liviu Dragnea considers the resolution on the territorial autonomy of the Szekely Land – a resolution that the three Magyar political parties signed on Monday – unconstitutional and “unnegotiable.”
Asked, at the end of PSD’s Executive Committee meeting, for his opinion on the resolution signed on Monday in Cluj-Napoca, Liviu Dragnea said that the resolution is “unconstitutional and unnegotiable.”
Norica Nicolai: Resolution on autonomy of Szekely Land, act of hostility against the Romanian state
Norica Nicolai, President of ALDE’s National Council, told RFI that the resolution on the autonomy of the Szekely Land, signed by the Magyar parties in Romania, is an act of hostility toward the Romanian state, which is one of the European states most friendly toward national minorities.
Norica Nicolai said that Romania cannot be reproached for anything regarding the observance of the rights and freedoms of Romanian citizens of Magyar origin.
“It was predictable, I for one was expecting such an attitude on the part of the Romanian Magyar parties, which have no other agenda but the one that suits the Magyar community in Romania. I put it in the context of the parliamentary elections in Hungary. We know very well that the Hungarian state is very active in what concerns the Magyar community in Romania. I’m not ruling out this desire, which is an almost historical desire of a part of the Magyar elites, maybe of the population too, but it is, in my opinion, an act of hostility against the Romanian state, which is one of the European states most friendly toward national minorities,” MEP Norica Nicolai stated.
She believes such actions must be countered, out of respect for our history and for the Constitution of Romania.
PSD Lower House member asks President Iohannis to trigger, as quickly as possible, a referendum on the local autonomy topic
Social Democratic Party’s House member Razvan Rotaru is asking President Klaus Iohannis to trigger, as fast as possible, a referendum on the topic of local autonomy, following the Magyar parties’ signing of the resolution.
“I consider the time has come for us to react from an institutional standpoint and to end once and for all the topic of the autonomy demanded each year by those who claim to represent the ethnic Magyars in Romania. That is why I consider it is advisable to immediately trigger the procedures for a referendum on the topic of autonomy, one in which all Romanian citizens living throughout the country and abroad should take part and answer, not just those from certain counties as certain politicians want. Based on the results, we will see what is the opinion of all of the country’s population, and of those of voting age living abroad, and then a resolution will be adopted by the Parliament of Romania and this topic will be terminated for good,” Razvan Rotaru stated, being quoted in a communique.
The questions that Razvan Rotaru proposes for the referendum are the following: “1. Do you agree with the territorial, local and cultural autonomy of ethnic Magyars in Romania?; 2. Do you agree with the elimination of the electoral threshold that any party needs to reach to enter the Romanian Parliament – 5 percent of the votes cast nationwide – and the introduction of an electoral threshold of 5 percent of the votes cast in each county?”
“I will tell my colleagues from all parties, when the parliamentary sitting starts on February 1, that we should update the electoral law by introducing the electoral threshold for each party in each county, so that we would have a most accurate representation of citizens in the Parliament of Romania. I believe it’s necessary to eliminate a regionalisation of the vote, which sees a regional party that wins a small number of mandates, but which surpasses the threshold at national level, deciding the parliamentary majority needed to form the Government. In these conditions, the regional party ends up imposing certain political decisions that are contrary to the general interest that exists at national level. I believe no Romanian citizen wants this situation anymore,” PSD’s House member emphasised.
He agrees with the point of view expressed by the PSD President, who stated that territorial autonomy for the Szekely Land is unconstitutional and unacceptable.
PMP’s Tomac: The signal issued is condemnable and impermissible, because it fuels the fracturing of society
House member Eugen Tomac, Executive President of the Popular Movement Party (PMP), harshly criticised the Magyar parties’ signing of a joint statement on harmonising their concepts of autonomy. According to the PMP’s House whip, this gesture represents a rude provocation meant to stir up pointless tensions in Romania, especially since it comes precisely at the start of an anniversary year, namely the Centennial of the Union.
“I’m outraged by this provocative political attitude that the Magyar leaders have chosen to adopt at the start of the year in which we celebrate the Centennial of the Union. I consider this approach completely uninspired and damaging. The signal that the Magyar parties in Romania have issued today is condemnable and impermissible, because it fuels the fracturing of society. It’s impossible to understand how people who held and hold offices in the Romanian state take the liberty, with such imprudence, to promote topics and actions that divide instead of uniting,” House member Eugen Tomac stated.
PMP’s Executive President emphasised that Romania always showed understanding and respect for minorities. On the other hand, “Magyar politicians in our country choose to defy us, testing our limits which are already pushed too far.”
“We believe they should stop here. In fact, such radical and provocative approaches are a trap for Romanian citizens who speak Hungarian. They create confusion, lead to rifts, and encourage an extremist discourse that doesn’t belong here. It’s inadmissible in today’s Romania to tolerate the excesses of people who hold offices in the Romanian state,” Eugen Tomac concluded.