Hungary has granted 950,000 people Hungarian citizenship in a fast-track procedure since the ruling Fidesz-Christian Democrat alliance came to power seven years ago, Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén has said.
Among those who have been granted citizenship, 835,000 have been granted it through naturalization and 115,000 by simply being declared citizens rather than going through the naturalization process, he said. This latter category comprises people whose parents or grandparents emigrated from Hungary and are Hungarians by birth but have never been declared Hungarian citizens.
A total of 30,000 applicants have been rejected, in most cases due to their lack of Hungarian language proficiency. Semjén vowed that there would be one million new Hungarian citizens by the end of the current government term.
Central funds earmarked for the purpose have increased from 9 billion HUF in 2009 to 89 billion HUF (286m EUR) last year, he said, adding that economic players beyond the border have got unprecedented support, he said.
Funding for the education sector covers all levels of education, he said, adding that the government has allocated 17 billion HUF towards upgrading kindergartens.
All components of institutionalized support for Hungarian communities abroad are in place and operating, the deputy prime minister added.
Hungary is drafting a uniform demographic program, involving ethnic Hungarian communities abroad in all the related initiatives, he said.