We will not abandon, nor assist in abandoning, any segment of our nation, said Zsolt Semjén, Deputy Prime Minister for National Policy on Thursday, the Day of National Unity, in the House of the Hungarians, Budapest.

Any segment of the nation that falters could endanger the entire Hungarian nation, the Christian Democratic politician believes.

The disappearance of the Diaspora would pose a risk for the whole of the Carpathian Basin and the disappearance of Hungarians scattered around the Carpathian Basin would also pose a risk for those living in a single block, Mr Semjén explained. And the disappearance of Hungarians from the Carpathian Basin would endanger Hungarians living in Hungary, he pointed out.

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He said the Government seeks to help all segments of the nation preserve their Hungarian identity, whether in their native lands or in the Diaspora. According to Zsolt Semjén, the nation is threatened by two extremes: self-abandonment and “irresponsible saber-rattling” which “crosses the border to return home leaving local Hungarians beyond the borders”.

The Deputy Prime Minister called the Memorial Day symbolic and today’s only possible response to Trianon. It makes sense to remember for various reasons: learning lessons, taking a legitimate national pride of survival, enhancing our national identity, and willing to survive”, Mr Semjén said.

“The road to Trianon was also paved by our mistakes, the errors or even sins of the Hungarian State against ethnic groups. We must also blame our naivety: we often caressed our enemies who would stab us in the back when the moment arrived. Another factor is that no conspiracy, not even that of the great powers, can break or ruin us unless the country is made to putrefy from inside”, explained the Deputy Prime Minister, who said the borders of Saint Stephen’s Hungary could probably not have been kept but no such disastrous peace treaty could have been imposed on Hungary if the Hungarian State and Army had not been destroyed. If we are strong inside and stay united, our enemies cannot get a hold on us, he said.

At the same time, we have a reason to be proud even at a time of mourning, as not many nations would have survived such a catastrophe, he emphasized.

He also made the point that Hungarians outside the mother country can only preserve their national identity with help from the latter. This makes the survival of educational and other institutions in the Diaspora so important, together with the relations between brothers and sisters and between the Churches.

He specifically mentioned the program “Without Borders” adding that those who visit Székely Land will no longer call a Székely a Romanian, a Hungarian from Sub-Carpathia a Ukrainian, or a Hungarian from Vojvodina a Serb.

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It is equally important that local people can come to Hungary in an institutional setting, he said, adding that the Hungarian State acts as a catalyst with the framework put into practice by the nation through personal contacts. This will enable the nation’s fine roots to extend throughout the entire Carpathian Basin, he said.

The Deputy Prime Minister also said it is equally important to strengthen the economic ties, a new focus of the Government. The aim is to ensure the best possible quality of life for Hungarians in their native lands, he pointed out while speaking for a single economic space.

In terms of naturalization, he confirmed that the Government can keep its target as the number of new citizens will reach one million by the end of the legislature. Up till now, 733,000 people have applied for citizenship and 691,000 have taken an oath of allegiance, he said. In other words, “five hundred fellow nationals want to become our compatriots” every day.

Zsolt Semjén also said that all Hungarians must be granted the form of autonomy their community deems desirable. It is natural that regional autonomy should be granted to Hungarians in single blocks and cultural autonomy to those scattered, the Deputy Prime Minister pointed out.

We have to make the world and the majority nations understand that Hungarians never ask for anything that is unprecedented in the EU or not generally accepted. What is possible for others should also be possible for Hungarians. Otherwise, we would be second-class citizens in Europe, which is not true, Zsolt Semjén said.

In order to enforce autonomy, the mother country and the universal Hungarian nation should take a unified stand on the most fundamental issues. While this was not the case a few years ago, now there is social and political consensus on the most important issues, he stressed.

On 31 May 2010 the Hungarian Parliament declared 4 June, the anniversary of the signature of the Trianon Peace Treaty, as the Day of National Unity.

The Trianon Peace Treaty put an end to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. As a result, the territory of Hungary (without Croatia) was reduced from 283,000 to 93,000 km2 and its population decreased from 18.2 to 7.6 million. Some 3.2 million Hungarians, one-third of the nation, found themselves beyond the new state borders.

The treaty was ratified by the Hungarian National Assembly on 15 November 1920 and promulgated by Act XXXIII on 26 July 1921.

The official commemoration was attended by representatives of ethnic Hungarian organizations, Church dignitaries and Pál Schmitt, former President of the Republic.

(Prime Minister's Office/MTI)