“The pupils, teachers and parents’ association of the Roman Catholic Secondary School in Marosvásárhely (Târgu Mureș), are proof of the fact that the Hungarian peoples have a future as a community that insists on its national identity and faith”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó stressed on Thursday as the first to receive the Rákóczi Award since the school was re-established last year.

The School’s leadership bestowed the Award on the Hungarian Foreign Minister for his role in saving and reopening the institution.

In his laudation, Headmaster Zsolt Tamási thanked the Hungarian Government for its diplomatic efforts, which proved decisive with regard to the reopening of the school via a Romanian government decree following a lengthy legal action and legal wrangling.

In his speech before the institution’s pupils and teachers, Mr. Szijjártó underlined: “It was the duty of the Hungarian Government to stand up for the Hungarian Catholics of Târgu Mureș, who are insisting on their national identity and faith, and in support of the school’s teachers”.

“There is greater pressure than ever before on the Hungarian peoples to give up their national, religious and cultural heritage and identity”, he said in evaluation.

“Those who attend this cross-border Hungarian Catholic school have most certainly not been successfully deceived by the false ideologies that are attempting to encourage us to break from our national and religious identity”, Mr. Szijjártó pointed out.

According to the Minister, Hungarian-Romanian relations are still facing numerous challenges today, but it is precisely the school in Târgu Mureș that proves that it is worthwhile to work in the interests of restoring mutual respect and trust, because joint success stories can even rake seemingly hopeless disputes closer to a solution.

During his visit to Târgu Mureș, Mr. Szijjártó also held talks with leaders of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (RMDSZ) on the situation that has developed with relation to the University of Medicine, Pharmacology, Science and Technology (MOGYTTE).

At the press conference following the meeting, said: “Just as a pragmatic agreement that respects minority rights enables Roman Catholic Hungarian children to study in their own school in Târgu Mureș, so too can a solution be found in higher education that respects Romanian law, and enables the establishment of a separate Hungarian faculty at the MOGYTTE, according to the model of the already established Faculty of English”.

“Hungary is proud of the Hungarian community in Transylvania and regards them as a resource, including with regard to developing Hungarian-Romanian relations, and believes that the prosperity of the Hungarian community in the land of their birth also contributes to the success of Romania”, the Minister emphasised.

From among the joint success stories, he mentioned the Transylvanian Economic Development Programme, which is receiving 25 billion forints (EUR 79.3 million) in funding this year, and within the framework of which the Hungarian Government has already funded 520 enterprises, while a further 490 funding applications are currently being evaluated.

In reply to a question, the Minister confirmed that Hungary has done everything possible in the interests of being able to purchase natural gas from the Romanian sources to be extracted from the fields discovered under the Black Sea: Hungarian companies have pre-ordered a significant part of the capacity of the interconnector between the two countries, and the infrastructure on the Hungarian side is already complete.

“Hungary does not, however have a say in what regulations Romania adopts within the energy sector; all it can do is indicate to the Austrian and American companies involved that it has an interests in the commencement of production” he added.

At the press conference, RMDSZ President Hunor Kelemen reported on the fact that he had discusses the European Parliament elections with the Hungaria Foreign Minister in view of the fact that it is a common interest for the Hungarian peoples of the Carpathian Basin to send a strong representation to Strasbourg. He also mentioned the dispute within the European People’s Party, explaining that in his view the EPP would be hurting itself if it were to exclude its strongest member party, Fidesz.

“Order cannot be created with a fist. This solution is helping our adversaries in the election campaign. We have an interest in the rhythm of the reforms going on within the European Union being dictated by a large, Christian democratic political family. While we are squabbling, the Socialists are already opening the champagne, or at least chilling it”, Mr. Kelemen said.

According to the RMDSZ President, the People’s Party must win the EP elections, which also requires the votes of Transylvanian Hungarians, and there will be plenty of time to conduct its internal disputes following the elections.