Hungarian Deputy Prime Minister: Survival of ethnic Hungarians abroad dependent on progress in autonomy
Budapest, March 20 (MTI) – The survival of ethnic Hungarian communities abroad depends on their ability to make progress towards autonomy, Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén said in Budapest on Monday.
Speaking at a presentation of the latest volumes of the publication entitled Minority Rights, Interest Representation, Autonomy, Semjén said autonomy was both a goal and a vision for the future for ethnic Hungarians. He said Hungarians living beyond the border must never abandon their demands for autonomy.
Ethnic Hungarians’ ability to enforce their interests depends on the successes of ethnic Hungarian political parties, Semjén said. He argued that Hungarian interests could only be defended abroad if such Hungarian parties have representation in the given country’s parliament, at the local government level or if they take on roles within the government.
Hungary is of the view that ethnic Hungarian representation should be as unified as possible. If there is unity, there is success, Semjén said.
This is especially important in parliamentary elections, the deputy prime minister said. He added that ethnic Hungarians could not afford to have parties with no realistic chance of winning seats in parliament run in the elections, arguing that they just split the Hungarian vote.
Semjén said that apart from representing the interests of the local Hungarian community, ethnic Hungarian parties also had a responsibility to have a clear and acceptable message for the majority nation. He mentioned the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians in Serbia as an example of an ethnic Hungarian party that meets this criterion.