Budapest (MTI) – Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjen called 2015 “perhaps the most successful year” in terms of Hungary’s policy towards Hungarians abroad.
All the related programs launched by the government over the past five years operated “without hitches”, Semjen told public radio on Thursday.
As an example, he mentioned the Korosi Csoma programme designed to help Hungarian diaspora communities maintain their Hungarian identity and language.
As Slovakia and Romania are members of the European Union and their ethnic Hungarian communities have access to EU resources, too, the government continued to focus its financial assistance on Hungarians in Serbia and Ukraine in 2015, he said.
The government has launched an unprecedented 50 billion forint (EUR 160m) economic development programme in Vojvodina, northern Serbia, including preferential loans and grants, he said.
Hungary seeks to make similar capital injections in western Ukraine’s Transcarpathian region but the Ukrainian state has rejected the plan, he said.
Semjen said Slovak-Hungarian economic relations flourished in 2015 while political relations were better than earlier. He called it a “historic development” that Slovak soldiers had come to help Hungary defend its southern border during the migrant crisis. This episode, he said, may pave the way for further advances in minority issues.
Hungarian-Romanian inter-state relations, however, deteriorated and so did the Romanian government’s ties with Romania’s ethnic Hungarian community as Victor Ponta’s left-wing government “deliberately destroyed” what had been built during the previous governments, Semjen said.