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Diminishing Representation for Hungarian Minorities in New EP

Péter Cseresnyés 2019.05.30.

This year’s European Parliament (EP) election has made it clear that only a fraction of the representatives of the Hungarian diaspora plan to take part in the work of the new EP. This is sad news for the Hungarian diaspora and Hungarians as a whole.

In the EP elected in 2014, there were six MEPs from the Hungarian diaspora. After this year’s election, that number has decreased to four. Up until now, there have been two Hungarian members from Slovakia in the EP: Pál Csáky of the ethnic Hungarian Community (MKP) and József Nagy of Hungarian-Slovakian Most–Híd. However, in this election, neither party managed to reach the five percent electoral threshold. As a result, neither MKP nor Most-Híd will send a representative to Brussels.

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Romania also has a significant Hungarian community. Last election, the Hungarian Democratic Association of Romania (RMDSZ) managed to secure two seats in Brussels; as a result, Gyula Winkler and Csaba Sógor represented Hungarians living in Romania in the EP. This election, however, Csaba Sógor didn’t make it to the EP as he was fifth on the list. Meanwhile, RMDSZ’s 5.7% was enough to secure two mandates. Due to being ranked second on RMDSZ’s list, the President of the Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN), Lóránt Vincze, is slated to go to Brussels along with EP-veteran Gyula Winkler.

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It should be noted that another Transylvanian Hungarian politician – László Tőkés of the Transylvanian Hungarian People’s Party (EMNP) – was part of the EP last term on Fidesz’s list. This year however, Tőkés wasn’t present on the list.

In 2014, Fidesz nominated László Gubík, a young man from Léva (Slovakia), to the symbolic 21st place of the party’s candidate list in the EP election. (Hungary has 21 seats in total, so one party taking all of the mandates isn’t a real possibility.)

Among the Hungarian EP party lists, there are two politicians on Fidesz’s list from the Hungarian diaspora: Kinga Gál from Transylvania and Andrea Bocskor from Transcarpathia in Ukraine. Considering the fact that less Hungarian politicians have managed to enter the EP than five years ago, it’ll be up to those from the mother country to represent the interests of Hungarians living outside the borders.

Featured photo by Balázs Szecsődi/PM’s Press Office.