The outline of Szeklerland on Heroes’ Square in Budapest
The Szekler National Council (SZNT) wants to promote Romania’s accession to the Schengen area by reminding the country of its forgotten obligations.
Balázs Izsák, the president of the Szekler National Council, made the remarks at a press conference in Sfântu Gheorghe (Sepsiszentgyörgy, Transylvania, Romania) on Thursday afternoon. He said he had sent Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă a letter reminding him of the commitments Romania made when it joined the Council of Europe in 1993, on the basis of which the country was granted membership. At that time, the country committed itself to base its minority policy on Recommendation 1201/1993, to return nationalized church property and to restore church education.
Article 11 of the recommendation states that members of a national minority who constitute a majority in a given territory have the right to a special legal status that corresponds to their historical situation.
“This essentially means territorial autonomy,” Balázs Izsák interpreted. The recommendation is binding on Romania, as the country has committed to comply with it.
He added that SZNT had drafted a statute for the territorial autonomy of Szeklerland, which had been rejected by the Romanian Parliament several times.
“If you reject it, tell us in what form you want to fulfill Article 11 of Recommendation 1201. We will listen.” he stated.
He added that he is aware that minority rights are not among the conditions for Schengen accession. However, international partners should not worry about Romania’s credibility.
We demand that these obligations be fulfilled, thus showing that the Schengen accession criteria will be respected in the long run,
The press conference was also attended by Terza József Kulcsár, deputy of the Transylvanian-Hungarian Alliance (EMSZ), who promised to submit SZNT’s petition to parliament.
This article was originally published on our sister site, Ungarn Heute.
Featured photo via Facebook/Dabis Attila