Slovak – Hungarian dual citizenship controversy discussed in the European Parliament

Slovak – Hungarian dual citizenship controversy discussed in the European Parliament

2011. 12. 15.

Furthermore, a statement from of 99-year-old Ilonka Tamás, who has also had her Slovak citizenship taken away, was read out by Kinga Gál MEP, the chair of the meeting. Ms Tamás expressed her sadness after years of loyalty and service to the Slovak state for 66 yea rs at having her citizenship taken away. Especially considering that she had paid taxes to Slovakia all her working life, raised two orphaned children, and having won the Golden Medal of the Slovak state for her good service. Concluding she said, "For those few months, weeks or days that are left from my life, I would like to live here, in my homeland as a full Slovak and Hungarian citizen, not as a registered foreigner in my own home."

MEPs expressed their alarm at the measures with Intergroup Co-Chair Kinga Gál describing the situation as "unprecedented…undermining core European values and being against Slovak law itself."

Edit Bauer MEP emphasised the seriousness of the issue and highlighted that the Slovak Constitution clearly states in Article 5 that "no-one must be deprived of citizenship of the Slovak Republic against their will." It means that the Slovak State is in the strange position of contravening its own laws on the issue as well as European standards for national minorities. Alajos Mészáros MEP expressed his sadness at the situation and his feeling of powerlessness. MEPs agreed to work together to find a solution.

The Intergroup also heard form the Charta XXI movement which has been set up to work for reconciliation and peaceful co existence between nationalities in central and eastern Europe. Representatives came from Transcarpathia, Ukraine; Subotica, Serbia; Slovakia; and Covasna, Romania. They described the various initiatives taken by their organisations such as intercultural summer camps.

The meeting concluded with a presentation of a book on the Hungarian politician János Esterházy, an MP in Bratislava before WWII who voted against anti-Jewish laws, was subsequently persecuted by the Gestapo and imprisoned. Instead of being freed by the Soviet Union post-1945 he was sent to a Gulag and died in a Czechoslovak Communist prison in 1945.