The foreign minister has said that Hungary is now working to deepen its alliance with “most of its neighbors which used to be enemies”.
Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, told parliament’s national cohesion committee that the Ukraine has “elevated its stance against Hungarian communities to government level”.
Speaking at his annual hearing, Minister Szijjártó said that “it is clear that close cooperation rather than isolation is in the interest of all countries of the Carpathian Basin,” adding that both Hungarian communities in other countries and other ethnic minorities in Hungary were crucial for that cooperation. The aim is for all countries cooperating with Hungary to have an interest in our successes, just as we have an interest in the successes of those cooperating with us. "The Carpathian Basin’s fortune rests on mutual interest in our respective successes,” he said.
Minister Szijjártó said the resources should be provided to Hungarian national communities across the border so they may find their own way to strengthen themselves. A HUF 60 billion investment support scheme is available to Hungarian companies. Fully, 465 companies have applied for funding and firms planning cross-border investments have lodged bids for projects worth HUF 110 billion in total. As a result, 7,400 jobs will be preserved and 3,000 new ones created, he added.
Further, companies making investments and creating jobs in Hungarian-inhabited areas have access to government funds worth HUF 63.5 billion. Serbia, he said, saw the potential in strengthening the Hungarian national community in Vojvodina, with a commensurate positive impact on Hungary-Serbia ties. Serbia’s minority policy may be seen as an example to other EU countries, he added.
The committee is in close contact with a Hungarian national community in six of seven neighboring countries, he noted, adding that major successes have been built in five out of six countries this year. Examples include the new bridge in Komárom jointly owned by Slovakia and Hungary, Hungarian involvement in Serbian government work, a high voltage transmission line Hungary is building with Slovenia, and parliamentary representation for Hungarians in Transylvania and Szeklerland.
Meanwhile, the minister noted “incitement to hatred” against Hungarians and intimidation as the focus of Ukrainian government policy “reminiscent of the darkest Soviet times”. The Ukrainian government’s pledge to make Transcarpathia a common Ukrainian-Hungarian success story was still “at the level of propaganda,” he added. Even when Hungary has provided tens of millions of forints for Transcarpathian institutions, the Ukrainian state has continued to harass and intimidate Hungarians, he said, calling this “shameful”.
Photo credit: Magyar Hírlap