It is only by guaranteeing the rights of ethnic minorities and by fostering strong national identities that a strong Europe can be built in the 21st century, Zoltán Balog, the minister of human resources, said in Berlin on Monday.
Speaking at the Hungarian embassy in Berlin at the presentation of “Heimat, Identitaet, Glaube” (Homeland, Identity, Faith), a book by Hartmut Koschyk of the German Christian Socialist Union (CSU), Balog said the Hungarian government was working to strengthen national identity so that “strong national identities and nations can cooperate to form a strong 21st century Europe”. This is impossible without guaranteeing rights of ethnic minorities in Europe, he said.
Koschyk said that
uncertain identity makes people vulnerable to populism and fundamentalism.
Those who feel “at home in their countries will not be confused by the effects of globalisation”, and so the issues of homeland, identity and faith should be given greater attention, he said.
Romani Rose, head of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, noted with appreciation that Balog had commemorated the Roma victims of the 1956 Hungarian revolution during his visit to Berlin in 2017. This gesture also sent a message to a “divided” Hungarian society.