Several Hungarian MEPs addressed the European Parliament’s debate on national minorities. The European Parliament held a debate to mark the 30th anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities in Strasbourg on Thursday.
Speaking in the name of the European People’s Party (EPP), Loránt Vincze, MEP of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ) warned that “minorities are often instrumentalized in the most violent internal conflicts; in extreme cases, they were subject to some of the worst atrocities ever committed, instead of being treated as equals and partners for peace and stability.” According to the representative of the ethnic Hungarian party of Transylvania, “respect for the rights of minorities in the EU and beyond was and still is a matter of utmost importance and urgency.”
Fidesz MEP Andrea Bocskor – a representative of the Hungarian minority in Transcarpathia, Ukraine – said that the anniversary of the declaration is a good opportunity to pay more attention to the Hungarian community in Transcarpathia, which is going through difficult times.
“The Hungarians of Transcarpathia condemn Russian aggression, bloodshed and destruction, and are taking part in the defense of Ukraine,” she stressed. According to Bocskor, “the main aspirations of the Hungarian minority in Ukraine are in line with one of the conditions for EU candidate status, namely to guarantee minority rights through a law adopted in accordance with the recommendations of the Venice Commission and to respect the community’s desire to live in peace in its homeland.”
Millions of EU citizens – including hundreds of thousands of Hungarians – are treated as second-class citizens in many EU Member States,
expressed Fidesz MEP Kinga Gál, the co-chair of the Working Group on Minorities. “Despite discrimination, a multitude of violations, restrictions on the use of the mother tongue, the European Commission does not wish to become a champion of the rights of these minorities, she said. Gál remarked that the Minority SafePack initiative on the protection of indigenous minorities, which had gathered 1.2 million supporters, was swept off the table by the European Commission.
Left-wing MEP István Ujhelyi – member of the S&D group who recently left the Hungarian Socialist Party – stressed that the protection of national minorities is particularly important to him. “We cannot allow national issues to be captured by populist nationalism,” he added.
Featured photo via Facebook/Gál Kinga