“The continued existence of Hungarian communities abroad depends on whether or not progress is achieved within the field of autonomy, and the enforcement of Hungarian interests is in direct proportion to the election success of Hungarian minority parties”, Deputy Prime Minister for national Policy Zsolt Semjén said on Monday in Budapest.

At the launch of the most recent volumes of the series of publications entitled Minority Rights, Representation and Autonomy, the Deputy Prime Minister stressed the alliance between science, public administration and politics. “If any one of these are missing, the capabilities of Hungarian communities abroad to represent their interests will weaken”, he explained.

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With reference to the volume assessing the election results of Hungarian minority parties abroad, Mr. Semjén highlighted that the enforcement of Hungarian interests depends the election success of Hungarian minority parties. “Hungarian interests can be protected if Hungarian parties are there in local government and if possible are also present in the given country’s Parliament, or play a role in government. What we are supporting from Hungary is that the given part of the nation acts in as unified a way as possible”, he pointed out, adding that “If there is unity, there are results”.

“This is particularly important at parliamentary elections”, he continued, explaining that constructions which have no realistic chance of getting into Parliament and only take away a small share of the votes cannot be allowed to stand for election. “It is right that Hungarian minority parties should be part of one of the European families of parties, but the same ‘ideological orthodoxy’ cannot be expected from a Hungarian minority party in a foreign country as from a party in Hungary itself’, he noted.

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In summary, Mr. Semjén said that in addition to representing the interests of the Hungarian character and Hungarian communities, it is also important for Hungarian minority parties to have a clear and acceptable message for the majority nation, citing as an example the Alliance of Vojovidna Hungarians.

The Deputy Prime Minister also mentioned that neighbouring successor states have an interest in assimilating the Hungarian minority, while Hungary has an interest in their continued existence. At the event organised by the Research Institute for National Strategy and the Századvég Foundation, Mr. Semjén stressed with reference to the volume on international topics: “All of their demands are based on international law and precedent”. With regard to the volume on autonomy, he declared: “The continued existence of Hungarian communities abroad depends on successful progress within the field of autonomy”.

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“Autonomy is a goal on the one hand, but is also a vision; demands for autonomy should never be abandoned”, he stated. “Every community must prepare its own concept; there is no unified principle and Budapest has no intention of specifying what is good for a given Hungarian community”, he confirmed. “We are, however, happy to provide all possible assistance towards their realisation”, he indicated.

“It is also important that the community in a given country ‘gets used to’ the idea of autonomy”, he said, adding that initial “rage, anxiety and attacks are followed by humming and rejection, and eventually dialogue”. “Hungarian communities have never asked for anything that does not have a precedent within the European Union, and which cannot be underpinned. If they were to accept that there are rights that other nations and national minorities are afforded, but we are not, then we would be accepting the fact that we are worth less than other nations”, the Deputy Prime Minister declared.

(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)