Open Letter in the Defence of the Rights of the Hungarian Minority in Romania

Open Letter in the Defence of the Rights of the Hungarian Minority in Romania

2012. 05. 16.

Brussels, 16 May 2012


Mr. Hannes Swoboda

President of the S&D Group;


Mr. Guy Verhofstadt

Leader of the ALDE Group


Dear Mr. Swoboda, dear Mr. Verhofstadt,

 Yourselves, and the Members of your political Groups have demonstrated your sensitivity concerning the violation of fundamental European values several times recently, whether it was based on valid concerns or stemming from unfounded presumptions. Therefore, we would like to call your attention to various worrying developments in Romania, some of which you might not be aware of.

 The newly formed Romanian government – led by your Romanian sister parties, the Romanian Social Democrats (PSD) and National Liberal Party (PNL) – is violating the granted rights of the Hungarian minority and might undermine the institutional basis of the representation of ethnic minorities in Romania.

 One of the first measures of the newly formed left-liberal government aims to eliminate a former government decision which permitted the establishment of the Hungarian language department within the Medical University of Targu Mures/ Marosvásárhely, ensured by the law on education currently in force. It is also worrying, that the programme of the left-liberal Romanian government makes no reference to ethnic minorities in Romania – regardless of their size and relevance. This has been unprecedented since the regime change.

 We have also witnessed with dismay, that the plans for overhauling the electoral system would seriously endanger the proportional representation of national minority communities. Furthermore, the plan aiming to redefine the borders of administrative regions would unfavourably influence the ethnical composition of the respective territories. However, the redefinition of the borders should be carried out based on consultations with the communities concerned, in line with the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities of the Council of Europe and the European Union's principle of subsidiarity.

  Dear Mr. Swoboda, dear Mr. Verhofstadt,

 It is highly alarming that the new Romanian cabinet, as one of its first steps, aims to revoke the right of the one-and-a-half-million large Hungarian minority's access to medical education in their mother tongue. It is also unacceptable, that the new left-liberal government seems to further violate the rights and freedoms of ethnic minorities.

 These developments in Romania go against the very basis of the European Union and seriously endanger the recognition of minority rights.  We believe that the respect of fundamental European values should not fall victim to party politics. As your Groups' have expressed strong commitment towards these values, you should firmly step up against these actions carried out by your sister parties.

 We believe that taking action against these developments, exerting pressure on the Romanian Socialists and Liberals – in order to prevent any discriminatory measures against national minorities – is not only a unique opportunity to demonstrate that the use of double standards does not apply to your political beliefs, but it is – as proclaimed advocates of civil rights and freedoms – your core responsibility.

 We are looking forward to your decisive actions and are ready to provide all the necessary support in this regard.

  Sincerely Yours,  

András Gyürk

Member of the European Parliament,

Head of Hungarian EPP Group Delegation


Kinga Gál

Member of the European Parliament, Vice-Chairwoman of the Intergroup for Traditional Minorities, National Communities and Languages


László Tőkés

Member of the European Parliament