According to Romania’s Foreign Ministry, Hungary cannot formulate a right to represent Hungarians living beyond its borders. It can at most maintain cultural relations with ethnic Hungarians living in other states.
A state secretary at the Romanian Foreign Ministry has criticized a Facebook post made by President Katalin Novák. The Hungarian head of state made a private visit to Transylvania on Saturday to Hungary’s ambassador in Bucharest.
According to the post:
Today I met with Hunor Kelemen, President of RMDSZ [Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania], Deputy Prime Minister of Romania. As the President of Hungary, I consider it my priority to represent all Hungarians, as it makes no difference to me whether someone lives inside or across the border. Hungarians are Hungarians, period.
Referring to international law, Romania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs underscored that no state can formulate rights for the citizens of other states. The Ministry has thus contacted the Hungarian Ambassador to Romania at the level of Secretary of State for European Affairs, and conveyed the Romanian side’s concerns as follows.
“Responsibility for respecting the ethnic, cultural, religious, and linguistic rights of Romanian citizens of Hungarian ethnicity lies primarily with Romania, whose citizens, as a kin state (mother country),
Hungary can only be interested in strengthening cultural relations with,
as the 2001 report of the Venice Commission on the preferential treatment of national minorities by the mother states and the 2001 declaration of the OSCE High Commissioner on Minorities on sovereignty, responsibility, and national minorities point out,” the Ministry emphasized.
According to the Romanian Foreign Ministry, the Hungarian President’s statement does not meet European standards and is not in line with the spirit of the 1996 Timisoara Hungarian-Romanian Basic Treaty or the Hungarian-Romanian Strategic Partnership Declaration for the 21st Century signed twenty years ago.
Featured image: Katalin Novák, President of Hungary, and Hunor Kelemen, President of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ), Deputy Prime Minister of Romania, during their meeting at the Bishop’s Office in Cluj Bishop’s Palace, on May 20, 2022. Photo by Noémi Bruzák/MTI