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March 21, 2023

UDMR’s Kelemen announces Minority SafePack petition campaign a success, with 303,695 signatures collected in Romania

Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) Chairman Kelemen Hunor considers the signature collecting campaign in support of the Minority SafePack citizens’ initiative is a success of the Hungarian community in Romania that joined Europe’s 50 million-strong minority communities.

“We pledged to collect 250,000 support signatures and this target was accomplished at the end of the previous year. But we didn’t stop there, we didn’t let others to do the work, and therefore we set ourselves another goal. The 303,695 signatures collected in Romania are a remarkable result, as they place Romania second among the signatory states and first by the size of the community referenced to the number of signatures. One quarter of our community backed MSPI”, the UDMR Chairman told a press conference held this Wednesday in Cluj, occasioned by the wrap-up of the Minority SafePack signature-raising campaign.

This is a historic moment for us. There has never been in the history of Europe such an important and well-defined move resulting in working out a law that would protect national minorities. Many had doubts, they had misgivings about our project, maybe they even didn’t want us to succeed, they tried to hinder by all means the success of this initiative. But with the backing of 1.2 million supporters, the local national minorities have managed to overcome a wall, to defeat weakness, distrust, proving that there is a strong community, a community intent on having European protection for its rights, said Kelemen Hunor.

The UDMR leader pointed out that one can speak now of a success because members of minority protection organizations from the neighboring countries have joined the campaign – highlighting the contribution of Slovakia’s Party of the Hungarian Community, of the Hungarian Union of Vojvodina and of the Rakoczi Association in Hungary.

Romania’s Hungarian community has done its duty – it has joined the initiative, the civil society supports it. The political lobby within the EU institutions is next, said UDMR Chairman Kelemen Hunor.

UDMR will file on April 11 with the Ministry of the Interior both the online and paperback signatures. According to UDMR representatives, a maximum of three months of checks at the Interior Ministry will follow, after which a signature validation certificate will be issued, followed by another three-month stage during which the European Commission will conduct specific verification and clarification procedures.

After this period, the European Commission is supposed to issue a resolution on this citizens’ initiative, yet it is definitely only in the second half of 2019, after elections to the European Parliament, that the European institutions will look at legalizing this project, UDMR said in a release.

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