Budapest, December 3 (MTI) – Prime Minister Viktor Orban expressed concern over investigations the Romanian authorities have launched against Hungarian politicians in Transylvania and said there has been a general “reversal” in minority rights for ethnic kin in Romania.
Addressing a plenary session of the 14th Hungarian Standing Conference (MAERT) in Budapest on Thursday, Orban said in connection with minority language use in Romania that the European rights of “our communities” are “being questioned”.
Orban made critical remarks about the “slowdown” in the return of property into church and community ownership in Romania as well as a lack of developments concerning medical university education in Hungarian language. He said the Hungarian government regrets that Romania has pursued a policy over the past few years which did not seek cooperation with Budapest. Hungary has demonstrated respect to both the Romanian people and its elected politicians, he said, adding that Hungary is following developments in the country “with hope”.
On the subject of Slovakia, Orban said after no ethnic Hungarian party had made it into Slovak Parliament, Hungary aimed to forge a “very close” relationship with Slovakia along economic cooperation, which is hoped to help Hungarians living there. Economic achievements are clear, Orban said, mentioning the planned new Danube bridge connecting Komarom and Komarno (Revkomarom) as an example. “Slovak-Hungarian relations have not been this balanced for a long time,” he said.
On Transcarpathia, in western Ukraine, Orban said he welcomed the end of divisions and the start of cooperation among Hungarians living there.
As regards Vojvodina in north Serbia, Orban said building relations has been going in the right directions for years and Hungary’s policy for Hungarian communities abroad has no interest in seeing any breaks in the unity that has formed there.
Orban said in a message to Hungarians in Croatia that he hopes they will have a government which regards “national sentiment as a positive force in state creation.” To Slovenia Orban said Hungary would extend all possible help with the migrant situation there.
Orban said the Hungarian government would launch programmes to help young Hungarian entrepreneurs in countries beyond the borders, and he asked members of MAERT for their support. The programmes would include grants and loans, besides sharing expertise, he said.
Hungary needs successful young Hungarian-speaking businessmen from beyond the borders on top of its own groups of highly skilled workers.
Orban addressed the issues of unifying education in the Carpathian Basin, including creating a network of Hungarian-language universities in the Carpathian Basin and launching scholarship programmes. He said Zoltan Balog, the minister for human resources, has been tasked with preparing action plans and matching funds have already been approved.
Orban said a strong central Europe policy can only help Hungary’s policy for Hungarian communities abroad. The current “invasion” has brought a rare realisation to surface: that central European peoples are one community in times of trouble. “Without central European cooperation our national interests are difficult or even impossible to serve well,” he insisted.