A special scholarship program is to be launched to support the higher education studies of young diaspora people in Hungary, Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén announced at the 11th meeting of the Hungarian Diaspora Council in Budapest on Thursday. The program will be implemented in cooperation with Culture and Innovation Minister János Csák.
At Wednesday’s government meeting, a decision was made to set up a Welcome Office to help those who decide to return to Hungary permanently or temporarily. The office will deal with issues such as pension payments, diploma revalidation, and driving licenses, said Zsolt Semjén.
The deputy prime minister said that
the Hungarian government’s national policy is not haphazard and does not follow momentary considerations, but is “philosophically well thought-out.”
The purpose and goal of the Hungarian state is the survival of the Hungarian nation and the improvement of the quality of life of its people, he said. The universal Hungarian community would become poorer if the Hungarians of the diaspora, who are an integral part of it, disappeared, he added. The Hungarian Diaspora Council truly represents the world’s Hungarians, he said.
The deputy prime minister also pointed out that
for a long time, Hungarians in the diaspora were being neglected, especially during the socialist era when emigrants were considered to be the enemy.
It was a strategic task to make the diaspora organizations “the home of all Hungarians,” in line with the changed times.
He also reported that some 230,000 Hungarian documents had been brought home through the Mikes Kelemen Program, with the most important documents going to the national archives and the remainder being sent to schools in Transcarpathia and other Hungarian schools abroad.
Semjén highlighted that any support that is not closely linked to a specific territory will be extended to all Hungarian citizens, wherever they live. For example, Hungarians can apply for a baby voucher, baby package, or maternity support regardless of their place of residence.
So far, more than 1,150,000 people have been transformed by Hungarian citizenship from “fellow citizens to compatriots,” with full voting rights, he said, noting that 320,000 votes were cast by foreigners in the current election, 50,000 more than in 2018.
Semjén thanked the Hungarians in the diaspora for their loyalty to their nation and stressed that every Hungarian, wherever they live in the world, can come home to Hungary at any time.
At the meeting, János Árpád Potápi, Secretary of State for National Policy, said that contacts with diaspora organizations are ongoing. He also spoke about the continuation of the Sándor Kőrösi Csoma program and the organization of the Hungarian Weekend Schools Meeting since 2018, which was held online in 2021 and 2022 due to the epidemic. He also reported on the diaspora school camps, with 400 children camping in 11 locations this year.
As the deputy prime minister said, Hungarian houses have been established in many countries, assistance has been provided for the construction and reconstruction of churches in the regions abroad, and church life is being supported.
The secretary of state also pointed out that the amount of donations from the Hungarian mainland and abroad in the Bridge for Transcarpathia aid program exceeded 1 billion forints (EUR 2.4 million).
At the end of the meeting, the Hungarian Diaspora Council adopted a final declaration in which they agreed that it is in the common interest of all members of the Hungarian nation to have peace as soon as possible and they support the efforts of the Hungarian government to protect Hungary, and the security of families.
In the document, the council welcomed the initiatives of the Hungarian government to assist repatriation and stated that a strong repatriation to Hungary and to other regions of the Carpathian Basin has begun.
The members of the Hungarian Diaspora Council assured the members of the Hungarian nation of their active cooperation to ensure the safety of Hungarian families, to protect our common achievements, and to ensure continuity. They are committed to further strengthening the unity of Hungarians across borders for the benefit and prosperity of other nations, the final declaration said.
Featured photo via MTI/Soós Lajos