The 16th session of the Hungarian Permanent Conference (Maert) representing Hungarian organisations around the world unanimously adopted a closing statement on promoting the Minority SafePack European citizens’ initiative in Budapest on Friday.
The statement defines it as a priority that the initiative calling upon the European Union to improve the protection of persons belonging to national and linguistic minorities and strengthen cultural and linguistic diversity in the Union should be supported with the most possible signatures in Hungary, its neighbouring countries and the Hungarian diaspora, Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjen told a press conference. On this occasion, he signed the initiative, too.
Hunor Kelemen, leader of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania, thanked the Maert member organisations for supporting the minority initiative.
He said that although it was hard to expect any move by the EU overnight, there was hope that Brussels would in the end give more consideration to the 50 million people who live as indigenous minorities in the bloc’s member states today.
Concerning other issues on the agenda, the participants protested against the recently adopted Ukrainian education law that violated European norms by restricting minority education rights.
The statement, which also incorporates proposals by opposition parties, expressed concern over further restrictions of minority rights by the new Ukrainian draft laws that would rewrite the rules of language use and citizenship.
Semjen said Maert unanimously rejected the recent proposal by Hungarian opposition DK leader Ferenc Gyurcsany that dual Hungarian citizens living in another country should be stripped of their voting rights in Hungary.
Maert welcomed that more than one million applications had been submitted for Hungarian citizenship under the government’s fast-track citizenship scheme over the past six and a half years.
Maert dedicated 2018 to ethnic Hungarian families living beyond the borders. It was also agreed that 2018 would be a memorial year for medieval Hungary’s King Matthias Corvinus.