We condemn the government’s latest decree to reallocate nearly HUF 1 billion of funds forming over one third of the overall national minority budget!

This step puts many national minority organizations and councils in dire straits as they will have no funds for holding their pre-scheduled events and seminars or managing and protecting their cultural heritage. The situation is further complicated by the fact that the government has unofficially informed applicants of the outcome of their tenders already. Based on the practice applied over the past years, many organizations and minority councils already expected the incoming sums and organized events before the COVID-19 pandemic. Such programmes can no longer be funded in the future.

What makes it even more outrageous is that Orbán is taking this step shortly before the 100th anniversary of the Versailles Treaty. Government officials, quite rightly, have mobilized half the country to gather support for the citizens’ initiative launched by the Szekler National Council but now they are nonetheless reallocating this sum to the churches. This amount, while crucial for the national minorities, forms a small part of the total budget. Imagine what (actually rightful) indignation it would cause if the same thing happened in Romania; for instance, if the funds earmarked for the Hungarian community were reallocated to the Romanian Orthodox Church?

As a national people’s party, Jobbik is convinced that Hungary must show an example in Europe in terms of national minority matters. Even though all political parties agreed on that much during the parliamentary debate of the minority act, the government is now taking a radical step to significantly reduce the latitude of national minorities in Hungary. And they are doing so without having consulted anyone about their planned course of action!

 

Koloman Brenner, deputy parliamentary group leader, Jobbik

Patrik Schwarcz-Kiefer, member of Baranya County Council, Jobbik