Oct 31, 2013

Hungarian Minority In Romania: Autonomy Not A Breach Of Laws

Hungarians demonstrated in Transylvania to call for autonomy in Romania over the weekend. Hungarian Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi reacted by stating that no form of autonomy contradicts the Romanian constitution or European or international laws.

Below is an article published by POLITICS.HU.

No form of autonomy is in violation of the Romanian constitution or European or international laws, Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi said on Wednesday [30 October 2013], in response to criticism of the Szekler march in which Hungarians in Transylvania pressed for autonomy over the weekend.

In an interview to public Kossuth radio, Martonyi said the fact that the Romanian constitution states Romania is a nation state does not rule out the possibility of local units of self-administration forming, which would not harm the unity of the state.

“Nobody is talking about a separate enclave in the middle of Romania,” he said.

If the vast majority of a community demands some form of autonomous administration or self-governance, it is a democratic principle that the mainstream majority should take this seriously and start talks over its concrete implementation, he added.

Another principle cited at Sunday’s [27 October 2013] demonstration is, however, guarded by international and European norms, namely that no territorial districting should be carried out in a way that hurts an ethnic minority or which could diminish its numbers, Martonyi noted.

Plans in Romania for new regional administration zones suggest that planned territorial changes would make the [Hungarian] community suffer, the same community which considers the creation of an autonomous region the democratic solution, he added.

The Hungarian government continues to support the endeavours of Hungarian communities beyond its borders, Martonyi said.

A demonstration called the Great Szekler March was held in central Romania on Sunday [27 October 2013], on a 53-kilometre stretch of main road. Sympathy marches were organised in several parts of Hungary on the same day.

On Monday [28 October 2013], Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta said he would address the Hungarian minority’s call for autonomy in conformity with the country’s constitution and the European norms.