Hungary has a duty to help advance the lives of Hungarians living abroad and to ensure they can remain Hungarian if they wish, according to Hungary's Deputy PM.
Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén said that this is the first time since the signing of the WWI Trianon peace treaty — under which two-thirds of Hungary’s territory was ceded to neighboring countries — that any ethnic Hungarian living beyond the borders who wants to be a fully-fledged Hungarian can become a Hungarian citizen and thereby a member of the EU.
Semjén vowed that there would be one million new Hungarian citizens by the end of the current government term. Ninety percent of the new citizens will be granted Hungarian citizenship through the fast-tracked naturalization process, he said.
The Hungarian government has never spent as much money on helping Hungarians abroad preserve their cultural and linguistic identity as it does now, Semjén said.
Semjén said 50 billion HUF had been committed to supporting Hungarian communities in Vojvodina alone. Communities in western Ukraine’s Transcarpathia region, Slovenia and Croatia have also received such support in the form of non-refundable grants and preferential credit, he added.
On the subject of Hungarian diaspora communities, Semjén said Hungarians living in the west were highly successful, which he said gave them opportunities to play important roles in advancing ties between Hungary and the country they live in.