One Million New Hungarian Citizens In Seven Years – Dual Citizenship Programme Reaches Milestone

A ceremony was held in the Hungarian Presidential Palace on Saturday in which the millionth ethnic Hungarian was granted Hungarian citizenship under the dual citizenship programme launched in 2010.

“We are now celebrating the unity of our political nation,” President János Áder said in his address at the ceremony in the presidential Sándor Palace, where Vojvodina farmer Miklós Lajkó and his wife took their oath of citizenship. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Speaker of Parliament László Kövér also attended.

Lajkó and his wife “have shown us what being Hungarian means; they wanted to be Hungarian citizens because they consider themselves Hungarian, their mother tongue is Hungarian, they went to a Hungarian school and their ancestors were Hungarian,” the president said. “We, in the mother country, should do no more than thank them for all that, thank them for preserving the faith and love of the homeland from generation to generation; for loving in Hungarian, working in Hungarian, speaking Hungarian to their children and having Hungarian dreams,” the president said.

The Hungarian parliament passed a government-initiated dual citizenship law in 2011 aimed at ensuring fast-track Hungarian citizenship for Hungarians living abroad, mostly to ethnic Hungarians in neighbouring countries.

Fidesz group leader: Only extremists are against dual citizenship

Setting aside the views of extremist parties, a national consensus now prevails on the issue of dual citizenship, and Hungarians beyond the borders who have become naturalised are part of the Hungarian nation in terms of public law, the leader of the ruling Fidesz party’s parliamentary group said at a news conference the day after the millionth ethnic Hungarian took up Hungarian citizenship.

Gergely Gulyás said naturalisation had brought about a public bond between the parts of the Hungarian nation that had become separated from the motherland and the Hungarian state. No longer is the validity of extending dual citizenship debated, even by those who had campaigned against the move in the December 2004 referendum, he said. “It is clear that nothing said at the time to alarm people has actually come to pass,” he added.

via hungarymatters.hu and MTI; photos: Zoltán Máthé – MTI