23rd weekly media review of hungarian communities abroad


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23rd weekly media review of hungarian communities abroad:

-Trianon anniversary - Day of National Cohesion
-Centre and Research Institution
-The Government is committed to the cause of national minorities in Hungary
-Keep calm and carry on
-Electronic census closed
-Collective minority rights at no circumstance
-Diplomatic Note for Hungary
-Kiev: dual citizenship does not constitute a problem'
-Conference on scientific cooperation
-Hungarian Identity conference in Canada

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23rd weekly media review of hungarian communities abroad

  1. 1. Weekly Media Reviewof HungarianCommunities Abroad23/2011
  2. 2. Trianon anniversary - Day of National Cohesion HungaryThe Parliament passed a law last June declaring the day of the enforced Peace Treaty ofTrianon of 1920, the 4th of June, the Day of National Cohesion. “The Hungarian NationalAssembly declares that all members and communities of the Hungarian nation, subjectedto the jurisdiction of other states, belong to the single Hungarian nation whosecrossborder cohesion is a reality and, at the same time, a defining element of thepersonal and collective identity of Hungarians. On these grounds, the National Assemblyaffirms Hungary’s commitment to support the natural claims for the maintenance andcultivation of relations between members and communities of the Hungarian nation andthe promotion of various forms of collective autonomy based on accepted practices inEurope.” Nationwide celebrations and programmes fulfilled the emotional obligationtowards the strive for national cohesion. Remembrances took place in Budapest, in theCastle, in Ópusztaszer and Sárospatak. Deputy prime minister Zsolt Semjén said that theAct on the Testimony for National Cohesion opened the way for self-respect and theopportunity to face the nation’s dismemberment and history that was the clue to thefuture for the Hungarian nation.About 400 people have taken oaths of allegiance to obtain the Hungarian citizenship dueto the simplified naturalization process. High-ranking politicians stressed the need toraise awareness of national cohesion and demonstrate national unity in education. In theframework of the state-financed Határtalanul! programme and with the association ofthe Rákóczi Association some 250 students left for study-excursions from the BudaCastle to Hungarian-inhabited regions of Slovakia. Hundreds of Hungarian minorityrepresentatives commemorated the ‘Day of National Cohesion’ in the Carpathian Basin aswell. Representatives of Hungarian parties in Romania organized, together with theAssociation of Young Hungarians, manifestations on the significance of 4th June 1920.Centre and Research InstitutionDeputy state secretary for Hungarian communities abroad Zsuzsanna Répás announcedon the Day of National Cohesion that the Hungarian Cultural Foundation’s head office inthe Buda Castle will provide home for the Hungarian House, an institution of the statesecretary and the Bethlen Gábor Fund. The government aims to create an interactivecentre for educational and cultural activities, the preservation of the heritage ofHungarians living abroad, particularly of diaspora and dispersed communities. Thecentre will be an emblematic place conveying the message of the unique values andplight of the nation toward the outside world. The House will give space not only forHungarian artists, performances and exhibitions, but it will also include a researchcentre with a complex profile of demographic, sociological, linguistic, cultural andpsychological research on minorities and of policy planning for Hungarian communitiesabroad as an academic support for the governmental work. 2
  3. 3. The Government is committed to the cause of national minoritiesin Hungary“Hungary is home to all national minorities living here,” said minister of publicadministration and justice Tibor Navracsics, when he signed the strategic partnershipagreement last Monday with the leaders of the thirteen self-governments of nationalitiesliving in Hungary. Tibor Navracsics stressed at the signing ceremony that the purpose ofthe statutory strategic partnership agreements was the achievement of better legislation.This is meant to create better conditions for national minorities. To this end, thegovernment intends to provide the necessary means for minorities to flourish and togrow in strength. Similarly to the plight of Hungarians living abroad, national minoritiesof Hungary must be given the opportunity to preserve their identities and to assert theirrights. In accordance with Hungary’s new Fundamental Law, the state undertakes thetask of protecting and promoting the languages and culture of national minorities. Theagreement between the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice and the thirteenminority self-governments aims to promote the further development of theinternationally recognized system for legal defence of individual and collective minorityrights.Keep calm and carry onHungarian-Romanian relations are currently at their historic peak and the two countriesare determined to keep them this way, foreign state secretary Zsolt Németh said aftermeeting his Romanian counterpart Bogdan Aurescu last week in Budapest. Aurescuagreed and added that it is now better than ever in the past hundred years. Disputes or Transylvania - Erdélydifferences in opinion about singular issues must be seen in this context, Németh said.Aurescu co-chairs the Hungarian-Romanian joint committee on ethnic minorities withthe deputy state secretary for Hungarian communities abroad Zsuzsanna Répás that hasjust had a meeting in Budapest. The committee tries to act as a sensitive mechanism tohandle issues stirring debate between the two sides. Currently, two cases werepresumably on the agenda of the committee. Németh summoned Romanian ambassadorIreny Comaroschi to express concerns about recent developments affecting theMátyás/Matthias statue in Kolozsvár/Cluj, including the placement of a Romanian flagand a controversial plaque in Romanian at the statue, as well as the stopping ofHungary’s ambassador in Bucharest. The plaque shows a quote by Romanian historianNicolae Iorga who practically stated that King Mátyás was not Hungarian but ofRomanian ethnicity. Németh and Aurescu shared the view that the plaque was notcompatible with the Hungarian-Romanian agreement and therefore, the Romaniangovernment will take the necessary steps. However, the reconciliation is not that easywhen addressing the issue of Szeklerland’s EU representation bureau. Hungarian deputyprime minister Zsolt Semjén participating at the opening ceremony in Brussels said thatthe representation serves the interests of Romania as well, since it aims to gather 3
  4. 4. information and apply for EU Fund projects in order to develop the region. According tothe Romanian foreign minister Teodor Baconschi, only legally existing territorial-administrative regions of Europe maintain offices in Brussels. In particular, Baconschicriticised the centre of the office that is the House of Hungarian Regions in Brussels.Electronic census closed Slovakia - FelvidékOnline census questionnaires can be filled in Hungarian as well, but slightly more thanone percent of respondents have lived with that opportunity. Nearly 600 thousandpeople completed the forms via internet and only 7437 of them were sent in Hungarian.Choosing the language is among the first steps when filling the electronic census, but theoption has obviously gone unheeded.Collective minority rights at no circumstanceMarek Maďarič SMER deputy submitted a constitution modification as a response to thenew Hungarian constitution. The constitution would stipulate that ”Slovakia respects theindividual rights of persons belonging to a national minority”. The proposal was adoptedwith 77 out of 150 votes in favour, hence it is now in the second reading. Maďarič did notmake a fuss about admitting that the amendment should dismantle the future effect ofthe Hungarian fundamental law.Diplomatic Note for HungaryHungarian Ambassador to Slovakia Antal Heizer was given a letter and a note for theHungarian foreign affairs ministry, last Wednesday. General director of the ministry’sdepartment of European affairs František Ružička gave the Hungarian ambassador theletter, specifically asking for a stance on the proposal concerning the 2003intergovernmental treaty between Slovakia and Hungary on mutual support of nationalminorities and other issues regarding the amended citizenship act. "Slovak diplomacyhas again confirmed its readiness to negotiate about the treaty in question," said head ofthe foreign affairs ministry press department Petra Greksova. Both Hungary and Slovakiaare committed to continuing the dialogue on open bilateral issues, the foreign ministersof the two countries concluded during their discussions in mid-May. Concerning dualcitizenship, János Martonyi said that the Slovak proposal on the subject, presented to theHungarian side in January, was "fundamentally different" from Hungarys philosophy,therefore it was unacceptable as a basis for negotiations. While Hungary recognisescollective rights for ethnic minorities, Slovakia does not. The Hungarian ministeradmitted that Budapest and Bratislava did not share the same approach in this regard,and it would take a long time before the countries could find common ground. 4
  5. 5. Croatia Transcarpathia - KárpátaljaKiev: dual citizenship does not constitute a problemThe Ukrainian foreign ministry does not conceive dual citizenship for Hungarians livingin Transcarpathia a problem; however, responsibility is laid upon Ukrainian citizens whowish to acquire a second citizenship. Officials claimed that the Ukrainian secret servicedid not take Hungarians under pressure, but merely applied “crime prevention” byinterrogating them, and had recourse to the foreign ministry to take appropriatemeasures at the diplomatic mission of Hungary. The situation is still not reassuring.Conference on scientific cooperationIn the framework of a conference jointly organized by the Hungarian Academy of Scienceand the Hungarian Faculty at the Eszék/Osijek University on 25 May, the participantsdiscussed opportunities for advanced co-operation between the Regional AcademicCommittee in Pécs and the two academic centres in Zágráb/Zagreb and Eszék. Theyconcluded that marking common academic topics would be a relevant step forward.Senior lecturer of the Hungarian Faculty Károly Lábadi appraised the developments ofrecent years in his opening speech. Hungarian higher education in Croatia has beenrealized four years earlier with the centre of Eszék framing the education of Hungariansfrom kindergarten to the university. The purpose of the conference was among others tocoordinate and set the most crucial goals of the scientific work of the handful ofHungarian communities of Croatia and to designate Eszék as the centre of thisendeavour.Hungarian Identity conference in Canada North - AmericaFor Hungarians in Canada Association in cooperation with the Hungarian State Secretaryfor Hungarians living abroad and the Hungarian Culture Centre of Toronto held thesecond conference between 30 May and 4 June on the issue of being Hungarian in North-America. The organizers invited Hungarian organizations, associations, churches andschools from throughout Canada and the USA, but economic and agrarian experts alsoattended the event. The guest list included the executive director of the Duna TV channelof Hungary, the president and two professors from the Pannon University of Veszprém,Hungary. 5