Last Updated: Friday, 19 September 2014, 13:55 GMT

Ethnic Hungarian Minorities in Central and Eastern Europe

Publisher WRITENET
Author Julian Duplain
Publication Date 1 June 1996
Cite as WRITENET, Ethnic Hungarian Minorities in Central and Eastern Europe, 1 June 1996, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6a6c34.html [accessed 21 September 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

1. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

Of the estimated 14 million ethnic Hungarians living in the Carpathian Basin, over three million live outside the present borders of Hungary. When the larger diaspora (in Western Europe, North America, Israel and Australia) is added to the total, roughly a third of the 15 million ethnic Hungarians live outside Hungary and are citizens of another country.[1]

This situation arose partly because of the Hungarian share in the trend of economic migration from Central and Eastern Europe at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, but in much greater measure because of the international boundary changes following the First World War. By the mid-nineteenth century, the Hungarian state had stretched almost to Belgrade in the south, Zagreb and Rijeka in the west, and included Transylvania and all of present-day Slovakia. From 1867 onwards these lands formed part of the Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy, with the Hungarian lands enjoying considerable autonomy, free of Viennese control.[2] Ethnic Hungarians were in fact scarcely a majority in the Kingdom. According to the 1910 census, taken after half a century of Magyarization, they made up only 54 per cent of the total population, and even that figure is considered by some historians to be an over-estimate.[3]

The defeat of Austria-Hungary in the First World War and the collapse of the Monarchy led to the Treaty of Trianon in 1920. As a result, Hungary lost two-thirds of its territory, and almost as much of its population. This permitted the foundation of new Croat and Czechoslovak states and the expansion of Romania and Serbia. As the Second World War broke out, fascist Hungary joined the Axis powers and some of its pre-1920 lands, specifically those in Transylvania and Slovakia, were regained for four years. After the Second World War, the 1947 Treaty of Paris renewed the conditions of the Treaty of Trianon, with the additional Hungarian loss to Czechoslovakia of some villages near Bratislava.[4] A further 200,000 Hungarians left the country following the suppression of the 1956 uprising against Communist rule. However, as these émigrés settled in Western liberal democracies, with no large single concentration in one country, their minority rights have not been an issue of contention for the post-1989 Hungarian Government.[5]

Trianon has been a source of national sorrow for Hungarians for more than half a century. To some extent this is a post-colonial malaise, made all the keener by the widespread sense that the lands lost are true Hungarian soil. The large minority populations in Romania, Slovakia and the northern Serbian province of Vojvodina give a political edge to that sorrow. For many ethnic Hungarians, particularly those who now live beyond Hungary's borders, Trianon was perceived as a grossly unfair imposition. Imre Borbely, an outspoken leader of Romaniai Magyarok Demokratikus Szovetsege (RMDS - The Romanian Union of Democratic Hungarians), the main ethnic Hungarian political party in Romania, points out that the "Trianon Diktat", as he calls it, turned Hungarians in Transylvania (Erdely in Hungarian) into a minority overnight and against their will. The Cluj Assembly of Transylvanian Hungarians in 1918 had protested strongly against any change of borders.[6]

For most of the Communist period, the Hungarian Government did not raise the minority issue with its socialist neighbours. The issue started to be discussed publicly in 1977 and 1978, in a series of press articles which were mainly statistical analyses of ethnic Hungarians in neighbouring countries.[7] Then, during the 1980s, as the Ceausescu regime in Romania further limited minority and human rights in a country where considerable numbers of ethnic Hungarians lived, the Kadar government began to assert cautiously its right to take an interest in ethnic Hungarian communities beyond its state borders.[8] Official ideologues stated that many Hungarians found themselves living abroad through no will of their own, and that cross-border contacts were imperative.[9] In 1988, a high-ranking apparatchik wrote "we consider the Hungarians living beyond our borders part of our nation, and our policy feels responsibility for their fate".[10] This was just as bold as post-Communist Prime Minister Jozsef Antall's statement four years later that he felt himself to be the spiritual leader of 15 million Hungarians.[11] The roots of Hungarian concerns about ethnic Hungarians abroad clearly pre-date the post-Communist democratic governments.

This paper will analyse the political and cultural situation of ethnic Hungarians living in countries neighbouring Hungary, review Hungary's policy with regard to its own ethnic minorities, and the change of government policy following the 1994 elections. It will also consider the impact of international bodies on the minority rights question and survey the prospects for bilateral dialogue and legal guarantees in the future.

2. THE ETHNIC HUNGARIAN MINORITY IN ROMANIA

2.1 The Legacy of Ceausescu

In Romania, several factors have combined to put ethnic Hungarians in an unusually disadvantageous position as a national minority. Firstly, the pre-1920 Hungarian borders included a large part of what is now Romania. This has made it easy for Romanian nationalist politicians to play on a fear of Hungarian irredentism, because, were the pre-1920 boundaries ever to be restored, Romania's current territory would be reduced by more than half. Secondly, because of the extent of former Hungarian lands now in Romania, the size of the ethnic Hungarian minority is considerable, usually reckoned at something approaching 2,000,000.[12] But rather than providing strength in numbers the size of the minority has tended to work against its members, as it has served to increase official Romanian suspicions. Thirdly, Romania has a second large minority: the Roma. The 1992 census puts the number of Roma at about 410,000,[13] which is generally regarded as a considerable underestimate. In fact, the Roma are almost certainly a more sizeable minority than the ethnic Hungarians, who number 1,620,000 according to the 1992 census and are officially the largest ethnic minority in Romania.[14] With two such large minorities, successive Romanian governments have been doubly uncomfortable about the minorities issue. The ethnic Hungarians and Roma have, however, not been able to coordinate their attempts to strengthen civil and minority rights. Indeed in September 1993, ethnic Hungarians joined ethnic Romanians in a mob attack on Roma and Romani property at Hadareni.[15] And finally, ethnic Hungarians, like all other citizens of Romania, suffered the political and economic strictures of President Nicolae Ceausescu's regime, which all but destroyed normal civic structures. As a result of all these factors, tension between Romanians and ethnic Hungarians, both inside Romania and beyond, has remained high since the demise of Communism, as evidenced by the failure to sign a bilateral treaty.

Even before the overthrow of Ceausescu in December 1989, and while Hungary and Romania were still Warsaw Pact allies, ethnic Hungarians were escaping west over the border from Romania into Hungary. By 1988, an estimated 10 - 15,000 had crossed the border, mainly arriving in the Hungarian city of Debrecen. Gradually, the Hungarian Government began making stronger, if vaguely worded protests: the "mother-nation" speaking up for ethnic Hungarians abroad. Nonetheless, the Hungarian authorities refused to view the issue as a refugee problem. Instead they talked about "temporary residence", while making it clear that there was no question of sending anyone back to Romania.[16] As well as the economic hardship common to all Romanian citizens, the émigrés complained of discrimination at work and in public life.[17] In cultural areas too, ethnic Hungarians suffered. At the start of 1985, all regional radio programmes in Hungarian were discontinued, and the Hungarian-language archives at the radio studios in Cluj-Napoca were reportedly destroyed. Hungarian-language television programmes were discontinued at the same time, leaving only a daily half-hour programme in Hungarian on the national Radio Bucharest.[18]

There were initial hopes that the overthrow of Ceausescu would improve minority relations in Romania. The Calvinist priest Laszlo Tokes, whose harassment by Securitate agents in the western Romanian city of Timisoara sparked the December 1989 events, was after all an ethnic Hungarian himself. But the election of post-Communist governments in both countries which were, to a greater or lesser extent, nationalist meant that minority issues came to be discussed at a bilateral level in a climate of mutual suspicion. The Magyar Demokrata Forum (MDF - Hungarian Democratic Forum) government of Joszef Antall in Hungary soon concluded that there was little essential change of position between the pre- and post-Ceausescu line on Romania's ethnic Hungarians. The Romanians, for their part, continued to see Budapest politicians as the ones responsible for disturbing ethnic harmony within Romania. In August 1992, Antall said that he wished to be Prime Minister "emotionally as well as spiritually" for 15 million Hungarians, a figure that included the ethnic Hungarian populations in surrounding countries.[19] This was not the first time that Antall had made such an assertion, but it was the best publicised instance and consequently attracted the most condemnation from Hungary's neighbours.[20] At the same time, Hungarian Foreign Minister Geza Jeszenszky stressed that his government could make no agreements or treaties with neighbouring countries "over the heads" of the ethnic Hungarian minorities there.[21] To Romania, such statements sounded like unwarranted interference in the country's internal affairs.

2.2 Towards a Basic Treaty: the Stand of the Council of Europe

The socialist-led government of Prime Minister Gyula Horn which took power in Hungary in July 1994 was widely seen as being more accommodating towards the Romanian authorities, and more determined to conclude a basic treaty between the two countries. Initially, cross-border funding to ethnic Hungarian organizations in Romania was reduced, although at a meeting with ethnic Hungarian leader Bishop Laszlo Tokes in October 1994, Prime Minister Horn insisted that any basic treaty would take the concerns of Transylvanian Hungarians fully into account.[22]

Meanwhile, any narrowing of the position between Budapest and Bucharest was not mirrored in Transylvania itself, where disputes between the Romanian nationalist mayor of Cluj, Gheorghe Funar, and the main ethnic Hungarian party, Romaniai Magyarok Demokratikus Szovetsege (RMDS - Hungarian Democratic Union of Romania), were only the most visible of the tensions between the two communities. On 15 March 1995, Gheorghe Funar banned ethnic Hungarians from holding a rally in Cluj to mark the Hungarian national day, although rallies were held in other towns.[23] Gheorghe Funar, whose Partidul Unitatii Nationale A Romanilor (PUNR - Romanian National Unity Party) was a minority partner in the Government at the time, was urging a referendum on any basic treaty with Hungary, complaining that Romanian territorial integrity was being tied to privileges for the ethnic Hungarian minority.[24]

Romania came under increasing pressure from the European Union and the Council of Europe to improve rights for its ethnic Hungarian minority, specifically as mandated by Council of Europe Recommendation 1201, which was adopted by the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly on 1 February 1993. [25] It is Article 7 of Recommendation 1201, which states that "in regions inhabited by a substantial number of persons belonging to a national minority, they have the right to use their mother tongue in their relations with the administrative authorities and in legal proceedings, before courts or legal authorities", which has proved particularly unacceptable to the Romanian Government. Indeed, Romanian law required the official language, i.e. Romanian, to be used for this purpose.[26] In an unstated formula, not unique to the Romanian case, recognition of minority rights was to be a condition of greater European integration and progress towards eventual membership of the European Union. One deadline, of 20 March 1995, tied to an OSCE Conference in Paris, passed with no result, other than the signing of a joint Prime Ministerial declaration, which did not resolve any of the key issues and was intended merely to continue the process,[27] in the wake of the successful conclusion, two days earlier, of the Hungarian-Slovak bilateral treaty, which had been delayed by similar concerns about ethnic Hungarians.[28] In Romania itself, there was considerable scepticism from, among others, the RMDS, whose executive chairman Csaba Takacs stated that Romania had always turned international agreements on minorities against the very people they were meant to protect. The treaty might take years to conclude, according to Csaba Takacs.[29]

Indeed, the 20 March 1995 deadline passed without any progress. As bilateral talks continued in April 1995, Adrian Nastase, the speaker of the Romanian parliament and a leading member of the Partidul Democratiei Sociale din Romania (PDSR - Romanian Social Democratic Party), the main government party, ruled out special status for any minority. Instead he said Romania needed more local autonomy, which would definitely not be organised along ethnic lines.[30] In addition, Romanian President Ion Iliescu attacked Hungary's own minorities' policy, stating that there was only one school in Hungary for members of the 20,000-strong ethnic Romanian community.[31] And President Iliescu's spokesman remarked that no Romanian officials made visits to ethnic Romanian communities abroad to "guide" them, that no funds were offered to ethnic Romanians abroad, that no Romanian nationalist propaganda was broadcast: references to the support the Hungarian authorities provide to their communities in Romania.[32]

The Romanian diplomatic offensive in April 1995 came in reaction to statements made by the President of the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly, Miguel Angel Martinez, who had visited Bucharest that month. The main thrust of his remarks was to resurrect Recommendation 1201 as the litmus test of minority rights in any bilateral treaty, and to criticise the Romanian Government for a deterioration of the situation of ethnic Hungarians in the country.[33] On 26 April 1995, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted Order 508 on the fulfilment of the obligations and commitments of the member states of the Council of Europe. The effect of this order was to condition Council of Europe membership on the applicants' conforming to Recommendation 1201, including agreeing to participate in the Council of Europe monitoring process.[34]

This reminder was described as "regrettable and dangerous" by President Iliescu's spokesman[35] According to Romanian media reports, Mr Martinez had changed position suddenly and inexplicably. Under the headline "Adios Senor Martinez" one newspaper editorial concluded that "we would not be pleased to see you in Romania again".[36] It is worth noting that Recommendation 1201 was included in the Slovak-Hungarian Treaty signed in March 1995, which may have accounted for the renewed Council of Europe focus on this point in the case of Romania.[37]

2.3 The Offer of a "Historic Reconciliation"

In May 1995 the fourth congress of the RMDS was held in Cluj. Bela Marko, a senator in the national parliament, and a relative moderate, maintained the chairmanship of the party, despite a challenge from the more radical Imre Borbely, who is also a RMDS senator. Bishop Laszlo Tokes retained his position as honorary chairman; his role has been mainly that of an international ambassador for the ethnic Hungarian cause. The congress decided to call on the Government of the United States to make the renewal of Romania's Most Favoured Nation trade status dependent on improvements in the Government of Romania's ethnic minorities policy. The failure of the central government to appoint ethnic Hungarians to positions of prefect (regional administrator) in Harghita and Covasna counties, where ethnic Hungarians form up to 90 per cent of the population, was deplored.[38]

Following three more months of inter-government and internal deadlock, Romanian President Iliescu made an offer of a "historical reconciliation", taking the Franco-German detente after the Second World War as a model.[39] It was perhaps unfortunate from the Hungarian point of view that President Iliescu chose to make this speech on the 55th anniversary of the 1940 pact under which Fascist Hungary regained temporary control of Transylvania, although from the Romanian standpoint this might be thought to augment the magnanimity of the gesture. President Iliescu referred to Romania's "European option", and the "brilliant example of the success of the European spirit" given by the post-war settlement between France and the Federal Republic of Germany. The speech made a direct appeal to the Hungarian Government to stop seeing itself as the defender of the ethnic Hungarians in Romania, adding that the position of the ethnic Hungarian minority derived from basic human rights guaranteed by the Romanian constitution, which could not be subject to negotiation with other countries.[40]

Romanian President Iliescu's speech tried to give the issue a broader European context, by stressing bilateral and continental principles, while sidelining local specifics, such as the minorities question. It was significant that President Iliescu mentioned recommendations of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), but made no mention of the Council of Europe and the contentious Recommendation 1201. A week later Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu was present at an OSCE meeting in Vienna and claimed that President Iliescu's proposal had been well-received.[41] He said that the Recommendation 1201 need not be an obstacle to a Romanian-Hungarian treaty, but that Hungarian demands for ethnically-defined local autonomy were the central sticking point.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovacs said that his government was open to discussion of President Iliescu's initiative, but added that it appeared to be of a political and not a legal character. Hungary's position was unchanged; it still insisted on minority rights being included in any basic treaty. However, in a measure of the moderate tone of the Hungarian Prime Minister Horn's government, compared with the determination of preceding Prime Minister Antall's government, Foreign Minister Kovacs said that failure to conclude a treaty in the next year or two would not cause difficulties, specifically not with regard to both countries' aspirations to European Union and NATO membership.[42]

Speaking on the same day as Hungarian Foreign Minister Kovacs, UDMR leader Bela Marko said that there was nothing to indicate that the Romanian Government was serious about the new initiative. He also denied official Romanian reports that the UDMR was pressurising the Hungarian Government to delay progress on a basic treaty, adding that he wanted to promote the process by involving both countries' minorities in discussions.[43]

In 22 September 1995, the Romanian Government followed up on President Iliescu's speech and presented three documents to the Hungarian Ambassador in Bucharest: a proposed joint declaration, a code of conduct on minority treatment, and a proposal for unblocking the treaty talks.[44] Romanian Foreign Minister Melescanu stated that a Romanian-Hungarian basic treaty would not have to be identical with other basic treaties in its provisions, specifically not the Hungarian-Slovak treaty. He said that a regime of bi-annual inter-state meetings, similar to those held between French and German leaders, would best serve both countries' interests.[45]

2.4 Points of Contention

Even as Romanian diplomats were pursuing the idea of President Iliescu's "historic reconciliation", ethnic Hungarians were starting to protest against a new Education Law, which had been passed in June 1995. The law gave primacy to education in the Romanian language throughout the country and throughout the education system. This, according to RMDS leader Bela Marko, implied a policy of Romanianization, because if carried out to the letter the new law would require Romanian-language schools to be established even in villages with an entirely ethnic-Hungarian population.[46] According to official Romanian statistics, 5.4 per cent of school students study in minority languages, with 209,131 (about 5 per cent) studying in Hungarian. The ethnic Hungarian community forms about 9 per cent of the total population.[47]

As the start of school year (15 September 1995) approached, several demonstrations were held to protest against the new law.[48] Ethnic Hungarian leaders claimed that in many cases the new law prevented students pursuing higher education in the Hungarian language, as many subjects would only be offered in Romanian and all university entrance examinations would be conducted in Romanian.[49] There was even talk of a boycott of the new school year. Although that idea was abandoned, there were protests to the European Parliament and the Council of Europe.[50]

Reacting to the furore, President Iliescu said that the Education Law could be "refined". A concession with regard to the new law had already been made to allow ethnic Hungarian pupils to take university entrance exams for the new academic year in Hungarian. However, the Hungarian Government declared itself sceptical about the likelihood of any additional early change to the law.[51]

In September 1995, there were three more factors that fuelled ethnic Hungarian suspicions that President Iliescu's grand new policy was not making very much practical difference. Firstly, a law was approved banning the use of foreign national symbols and the singing of foreign national anthems, a measure fully supported by Romanian nationalist elements and apparently aimed mainly at hampering Hungarian nationalist demonstrations.[52] During talks with Hungarian Government representatives in Budapest the following month, RMDS leader Bela Marko singled out this law as an example of the "realities" that needed changing before progress could be made on "historic reconciliation".[53]

Secondly, a member of the Romanian hard-line nationalist PUNR was appointed as prefect (local administrator) in Mures County, an area with a high percentage of ethnic Hungarians.[54] An ethnic-Hungarian vice-prefect was dismissed, despite local protests and appeals to the authorities for his reinstatement.[55]

And thirdly, in Cluj the nationalist PUNR mayor Gheorghe Funar engaged in a war of attrition with the director of the local Hungarian Opera House, who had hung up a Hungarian-language banner commemorating the 50th anniversary of the death of the Hungarian composer Bela Bartok and advertising a Bartok Music Festival. The banner broke local by-laws because the text was not translated into Romanian. Gheorghe Funar sent a team of local council workers to remove the banner three times, and the director replaced it after each removal. He fined the Opera House 1,400 US dollars and appealed to the Ministry of Culture to dismiss the director. Ironically, Gheorghe Funar was born in the same village as Bartok.[56]

2.5 A Renewal of Dialogue

In 3 November 1995, inter-governmental talks on the Hungarian-Romanian basic treaty reopened in Budapest, the first direct contacts since President Iliescu's August "historic reconciliation" speech. There had been a four-month interval since the last such meeting, when Hungarian Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovacs had been in Bucharest. However, the November meeting was at a lower level, involving State Secretaries rather than ministers.[57] The Hungarian side was resolute in stating that the "historic reconciliation" proposal should not replace the basic treaty.[58] In any case, the talks did not make any significant progress. According to Csaba Tabajdi, Hungarian Secretary of State for Minority Affairs, the code of conduct on minority treatment included among the documents presented by Romania in September 1995 was merely an account of how minorities themselves should behave, with no reference to the obligations of governments.[59]

Meanwhile, ethnic Hungarian representatives in Romania were unhappy at what they saw as the supine attitude of the Hungarian Government in its dialogue with Bucharest. Bishop Laszlo Tokes, honorary RMDS chairman, said that the Education Law was threatening the very survival of the ethnic Hungarian community in Romania and that only "wide-ranging autonomy" could prevent assimilation.[60] At the end of October 1995, Bishop Tokes sent an open letter to the Hungarian and Romanian Presidents, advocating the Austro-Italian model of bilateral relations, in place of the Franco-German one proposed in President Iliescu's August speech.[61] A similar model is supported by Imre Borbely, a radical leader within the RMDS.[62] Bishop Tokes argued that while the Franco-German post-war settlement did take into account a history of revanchism, there were no minorities involved, which is the defining characteristic of the Hungarian-Romanian situation. However, the case of language and other minority rights for the German-speaking population in South Tirol made the Austro-Italian example far more relevant, according to Bishop Tokes.[63]

In January 1996, the RMDS held an extraordinary meeting to outline more precise details of a local autonomy proposal, despite the fact that bilateral talks had made no progress on this issue. In essence this was the usual demand for equality and collective rights for the ethnic Hungarian community.[64] Bishop Tokes suggested that the autonomy enjoyed by the Romanian Orthodox Church could be a model for local ethnically-based autonomy, a model which he hoped would convince "our misled Romanian brothers that autonomy was not devilry".[65] However, claims for expropriated property belonging to the Hungarian Lutheran and Unitarian Churches expropriated under the Communists to be returned by the State, as had already been done with Romanian Orthodox Church property, brought a dismissive response from the Government of Romania. President Iliescu himself expressed bewilderment at what he called a "claim for special treatment".[66]

2.6 International Pressure

In January 1996, Max van der Stoel, OSCE High Commissioner for Ethnic Minorities, visited Bucharest, and also went to schools in Brasov and Covasna counties. He said that although the Education Law was in compliance with fundamental European legal norms, he feared that the spirit of the law might not be well applied.[67] Mayor of Cluj Gheorghe Funar dismissed Mr. van der Stoel as a RMDS lawyer, and said that given his old age and state of health he should not be expected to live much longer.[68] For his part, President Iliescu maintained that ethnic Hungarians in Romania had no difficulty leading a full cultural life, based on mutual regard and solidarity.[69]

In 13 February 1996, bilateral talks resumed, this time in Bucharest, with the brief participation of Richard Holbrooke, the US mediator in Bosnia. He urged both sides not to become "obsessed with real or imagined and often exaggerated historical grievances".[70] Romania stated that they were continuing to pursue two-track discussions, on both a basic treaty and the "historic reconciliation".[71] Hungarian officials acknowledged that there was now a dual process, and said that separate talks would now be held on each issue.[72] And, despite RMDS pressure, Hungary agreed that minority representatives would have no place at the future talks (such groups had not enjoyed such a role previously).[73] However, Hungary stated that there was no absolute need for the two countries to coordinate their membership bids for NATO.[74] This brought a swift response from Romania, who said that a new demarcation line between Hungary and Romania during the expansion of NATO would upset the security balance of Central Europe.[75]

2.7 The Approaching Romanian Elections

Romanian negotiations with Hungary, since the beginning of 1996, have been increasingly subject to considerations regarding the parliamentary and presidential elections due at the end of the year. Clearly the handling of the ethnic Hungarian issue and the question of future integration into European structures like NATO and the European Union - the latter being partially dependent on the former - will be important issues during the election campaign. Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu wanted the basic treaty signed well before the elections, so that minority rights would not be a major political issue during the elections.[76] However, it was unclear whether his motive was to solve conclusively the Hungarian question, or rather to try and defuse a potentially explosive campaign issue. A Hungarian Foreign Ministry spokesman welcomed the impetus from the Romanian side, but said that experience had shown that Romania was less flexible at the negotiating table than it appeared to be in its policy statements.[77]

Meanwhile, within Romania there were signs of political manoeuvring ahead of the elections. Bela Marko, RMDS chairman, said that he did not rule out cooperation between his party and the governing PDSR at a local level, particularly in Cluj, where an alliance between the RMDS and PDSR might prevent the re-election of the strongly nationalistic mayor Gheorghe Funar.[78] PDSR chairman Adrian Nastase called for a dialogue with RMDS; this was met with cautious enthusiasm by RMDS, who noted that the motivations for this offer were no doubt connected with electioneering.[79]

But talks between Bela Marko and leading Romanian politicians on the progress of the bilateral treaty did not yield such optimism, although the meetings in themselves were a measure of the relative strength of Bela Marko's constituency. In February 1996, Bela Marko met President Iliescu, and pressed him for a resolution of the Education Law before the university entrance examinations due ahead of the autumn 1996 session.[80] A month later he met Foreign Minister Melescanu, and insisted on the inclusion of Council of Europe Recommendation 1201 in the basic treaty.[81] However, there was no sign of any shift in the official position. In March, at a Bucharest conference to analyse and promote the Franco-German model of relations, President Iliescu asserted that there was no national minority problem in Romania,[82] while his spokesman expressed alarm at "segregationist tendencies" and an alleged RMDS plan to create a state within a state.[83] And PDSR President Adrian Nastase said that any kind of ethnic autonomy was unacceptable to his party.[84] In April, Bela Marko concluded that there was no realistic chance of the basic treaty being signed before the 1996 elections.[85]

2.8 Future Considerations

There is no sign of any advance in Hungarian-Romanian talks. The Hungarian Government has not been distracted by President Iliescu's "historic reconciliation" plan and continues to press for specific minority rights guarantees in the basic treaty. Meanwhile, in Romania, the Education Law is still in place and points of tension remain between the ethnic Hungarian community and the Romanian authorities. Ethnic Romanians from Harghita, Covasna and Mures counties have complained to President Iliescu that they were "ethnically cleansed" by local ethnic Hungarians after the December 1989 overthrow of Ceausescu.[86] This theme has been a common strand of anti-Hungarian sentiment, as evidenced for example in an inflammatory book, "Romanians Hunted Down In Their Own Country", which is distributed by the Romanian Government Information Department.[87]

Ethnic Hungarians were suspicious at the deployment of additional troops in Covasna and Harghita counties, although the Romanian Defence Ministry said the move was purely operational and not related to any ethnic issue.[88] In April 1996, several drunken ethnic Hungarians attacked an ethnic Romanian policeman in the town of Odorheiu Secuiesc. The policeman subsequently died from his injuries. Local people denied the attack was ethnically motivated and said it was simply a criminal act.[89]

Although the Education Law remains in force, there have been some hopeful cultural initiatives in the field of the media. A new radio station in Tirgu Secuiesc went on the air in August 1995, with 75 per cent Hungarian-language programming. This is the first radio station in Romania to broadcast the majority of its programmes in Hungarian.[90] And in April 1996, a new private television station, broadcasting half in Romanian and half in Hungarian, started broadcasting in Tirgu Mures, with the declared aim of building bridges between the two communities.[91]

3. THE ETHNIC HUNGARIAN MINORITY IN SLOVAKIA

3.1 Slovakia: a New Country

On 1 January 1993, the ethnic Hungarian minority in Felvidek, as Hungarians call the area to the north of modern-day Hungary, suddenly found it had tripled in relative size. From comprising around 3.8 per cent of the population of Czechoslovakia, ethnic Hungarians became a minority of over 10 per cent in the newly-founded state of Slovakia.[92] Almost all ethnic Hungarians in Czechoslovakia were concentrated in Slovakia, mainly in an east-west strip of territory along the Hungarian border. There are generally reckoned to be around 600,000 ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia; the 1991 census gives a total of 567,296.[93] Around 200,000 ethnic Hungarians were deported from Czechoslovakia in 1945, under the Benes Decrees which expelled suspected collaborators of the war-time Nazi regime on the basis of collective ethnic guilt. Some of those expelled are now trying to obtain a formal apology and compensation, although, as in the case of the far larger group of Sudeten Germans expelled from Czechoslovakia at the same time, they have so far had no success.[94]

Ethnic Hungarians in Communist Czechoslovakia had enjoyed some minority rights, particularly in education, where a system of Hungarian-language schools was maintained, and a cultural organization, Csehszlovakiai Magyarok Demokratikus Szovetsege (CSEMADOK - Democratic Federation of Czechoslovak Hungarians), allowed for a limited exchange of views.[95] However, the advantages of post-Communist openness, which brought an immediate improvement in contacts with Hungarians outside Slovakia, and specifically in Hungary itself, did not translate into longer-term improvements in minority rights at home. This was principally due to an increase in Slovak nationalism, which with the coming of democracy had an equal chance to thrive, and the role of three times Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar.[96]

For all but six months of its three-and-a-half years of independence, Slovakia has been governed by Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar. He had first led a government in 1990, after elections contested by interest groups as much as formal political parties. At the June 1992 elections, which were shortly followed by the decision to divide Czechoslovakia, his Hnuti Za Democraticke Slovensko (HZDS - Movement For A Democratic Slovakia) won half of the seats in parliament. He remained in power until March 1994, when defections from his party cost him his majority. New elections were held in October 1994, after which he returned to the Prime Minister's office as the head of a three-party coalition.[97]

Support for Prime Minister Meciar tends to come from older rural voters in the centre of Slovakia, and industrial workers at factories which have become uneconomic and would be likely to close down if rigorous free-market principles were applied. His policies have therefore been to slow down privatization and other economic changes. He has also staked his political reputation on the ideal of the new Slovak nation, with an ethnically Slovak definition. His two coalition partners reflect these two trends. Zdruzenie Robotnikov Slovenska (ZRS - The Association of Slovak Workers) is a hard-line socialist grouping, and Slovenska Narodna Strana (SNS - The Slovak National Party), whose leader Jan Slota is mayor of Zilina in central Slovakia, is an extreme-nationalist party, given to anti-Hungarian rhetoric.[98]

The fact that in 1993 Slovakia's ethnic Hungarians became a far larger minority than they had been in Czechoslovakia made it easier for Slovak nationalists, who were by now in the ascendancy, to focus on them. Instead of gaining strength through relative numbers, the ethnic Hungarians simply became a much larger target.[99]

3.2 The Komarno Declaration

On 6 December 1993, a group of mayors and politicians from southern Slovakia met in Komarno, 80 km east of the capital Bratislava. Komarno is bisected by the River Danube and by the Slovak-Hungarian border. Hungarians know the town as Komarom. The meeting's participants discussed and agreed on a convention which became known simply as the Komarno Declaration. This formed the centrepiece of a rally of ethnic Hungarians held in the town on 8 January 1994, which considerably raised the temperature in the dialogue between ethnic Hungarians and the Slovak Government.[100]

The Komarno Declaration was a statement of basic minority rights, backed up by a statistical analysis of the ethnic Hungarian community in Slovakia. It stressed that ethnic Hungarians living in Slovakia had supported pluralism and parliamentary democracy since the fall of Communism, and insisted that a new system of relations between Slovaks and ethnic Hungarians must be sought, as recent government actions had worsened the relationship.[101]

According to the Declaration's figures, there were 432 towns and villages in Slovakia where the ethnic Hungarian population exceeded 50 per cent, a total of 437,727 people.[102] The demands of the Declaration focused on three areas: local government, territorial reorganization, and constitutional and language rights. It called for devolvement of power to local councils, and the division of regional administration in such a way as to bring together rather than divide majority Hungarian areas.[103] The Declaration stipulated that in any area where ethnic Hungarians formed more than 10 per cent of the population, they should have the right to use the Hungarian language in public life, and have signs and notices written in Hungarian; where the ethnic Hungarian population exceeded 50 per cent, then Hungarian should have the status of an official language, along with Slovak. Council of Europe Recommendation 1201 was also invoked.[104]

Even before it took place, mainstream Slovak politicians were quick to attack the Komarno meeting as separatist and irredentist. A leading member of Matica Slovenska, the main Slovak cultural organization, described the meeting as a "threat to Slovak sovereignty".[105] Reacting to the Komarno Declaration, Matica Slovenska organised a memorandum, expressing the fears of ethnic Slovaks in the south of the country that they might be subsumed in a totally ethnic Hungarian milieu.[106] Istvan Pasztor, the ethnic Hungarian mayor of Komarno, said at a press conference after the rally that the Declaration intended no threat to Slovak autonomy or the country's international borders, although this was not stated explicitly in the final text.[107]

3.3 Ethnic Hungarian Parliamentary Strength and the Basic Treaty

Following the elections of September 1994, Vladimir Meciar's HZDS was once again the main political party, although with too few seats to form a government, even with support from the nationalist SNS. It was two months before the three-party coalition including the ZRS was formed, a period which only emphasized the lowly political status of the 17 ethnic Hungarian deputies. There are three ethnic Hungarian parties: Egyutteles (Coexistence), led by the de facto political spokesman of the ethnic Hungarian community, Miklos Duray; Magyar Keresztenydemokrata Mozgalom (MKM, Hungarian Christian-Democratic Movement), and Magyar Polgari Part (MPP, Hungarian Civic Party). Between them, they have slightly increased their share of the vote over the course of the three post-Communist elections in Slovakia, to just over 10 per cent in 1994,[108] more or less exactly matching their percentage share of the total population. Duray not surprisingly committed his coalition to work in the opposition[109] - it is in any case highly unlikely that Prime Minister Meciar would have worked with the ethnic Hungarians.

At the same time, Slovak President Michal Kovac, a more moderate voice among the Slovak hierarchy who had sought to promote inter-ethnic dialogue at the time of the Komarno Declaration,[110] gave a speech at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. He said that any collective interpretation of minority rights would unbalance the state, adding that Slovakia supported individual rights but expected loyal behaviour from members of the national minority.[111] Michal Kovac had been a former Vladimir Meciar ally, and a member of HZDS before he was appointed to the presidency, but had become a political enemy since the HZDS dismissal from government in March 1994. Vladimir Meciar blamed President Kovac for his defeat at that time, arguing without firm evidence that the President had acted unconstitutionally and put pressure on other parties to remove HZDS from power.[112] So from the ethnic Hungarian point of view, President Kovac might have been expected to provide a counter-balance to the government's unsympathetic position on minority rights, but in Strasbourg he made it clear he would maintain the Slovak Government line. This was in essence the same line as that pursued in Romania, where the Government also maintained a policy of individual, rather than collective, rights.[113]

In December 1994, with a new Slovak Government in place, bi-lateral talks with Hungary resumed on the basic treaty. Apart from the minority issue, there was also the matter of the Gabcikovo-Nagymaros dam project on the River Danube, begun during the Communist era and then unilaterally abandoned by Hungary. The matter had been sent to the International Court of Justice at The Hague for arbitration, where a judgement is still pending, but the Slovaks still saw the dispute as a point of leverage in the treaty negotiations.[114]

Between January and March 1995, with an OSCE conference to sign a Stability Pact on good relations in Central and Eastern Europe scheduled for 21 March in Paris, there was almost no movement in the two sides' positions on the treaty. In early March, the Hungarian side said there was no real willingness for agreement from the Slovaks.[115] A week later, Slovak Prime Minister Meciar blamed the Hungarians, saying that Hungarian demands for local autonomy and their insistence on "giving more rights than is usual" to minorities were holding up the treaty.[116] Finally, after a last-minute meeting between Prime Ministers Vladimir Meciar and Gyula Horn on 16 March 1995, the treaty was signed in Paris, just before the start of the OSCE conference.[117] This was the same deadline that the Romanians and Hungarians failed to meet for their basic treaty.

The Slovak-Hungarian treaty included provisions guaranteeing international borders, economic cooperation, new border crossings and the protection of minority rights. Both sides agreed to adhere to Council of Europe Recommendation 1201.[118] Less than a week previously, Slovak Foreign Minister Juraj Schenk had said that collective rights and territorial autonomy should have no place in the treaty,[119] but it now seemed as if Slovakia was agreeing to precisely these points, at least in theory.

However, a series of remarks made immediately after the treaty was signed served to show how theoretical its minority rights' provisions were. Slovak Foreign Minister Schenk issued a statement the day after the signing, which said that the Slovak Government did not accept any formulation that acknowledged the collective rights of minorities.[120] Ivan Gasparovic, the chairman of the Slovak Parliament and HZDS deputy, appeared to dismiss the treaty when he said it was in fact already implemented, because all individual rights were already enjoyed by the country's minorities.[121] This was echoed by Prime Minister Meciar himself, who said that there was nothing new in the basic treaty and its implementation would require no new measures. He described it as a "good piece of work for Slovakia".[122] And Jan Slota, leader of the extreme nationalist SNS, called the treaty premature and unacceptable and pointed out that it still had to be ratified by the Slovak parliament.[123] The Hungarian parliament ratified the treaty within three months, on 11 June 1995,[124] but it was to take the Slovaks over a year to do so.[125]

Meanwhile, Slovakia's ethnic Hungarians were keen to take advantage as quickly as possible of the possibilities offered by the basic treaty. Egyutteles leader Miklos Duray soon issued a demand for the ethnic Hungarians to receive regional autonomy within a year.[126]

3.4 The Education Issue

Instead of moving ahead towards regional autonomy, the ethnic Hungarian community had to defend the status quo in several areas. The first of these was education.

In the coalition deal struck after the September 1994 elections, Vladimir Meciar had given three cabinet seats to SNS deputies. A hard-line Slovak nationalist Eva Slavkovska thus became Minister of Education. On taking office, she pledged to ensure that every village in Slovakia had a Slovak language school, so that ethnic Slovak children would not have to "give up their nationality" in southern Slovakia.[127]

Eva Slavkovska proposed a system of "alternative education" in southern Slovakia for the school year beginning in September 1995, which would mean that ethnic Hungarians would be taught in the Slovak language in Slovak schools.[128] These schools would be theoretically bi-lingual, but ethnic Hungarian leaders were quick to condemn the plan as pro-Slovak discrimination and a threat to the jobs of those ethnic Hungarian teachers who could not speak fluent Slovak.[129]

A rally was held in Komarno in April 1995 to protest against the proposals.[130] But within a month three ethnic Hungarian head teachers had been sacked in the towns of Samorin, Sahy and Sturovo for refusing to introduce Slovak-language classes in their schools.[131] By early July the total had risen to five (or six, according to some other reports thought to be erroneous), and the Federation of Hungarian Teachers in Slovakia renewed their threat of civil disobedience, made in Komarno.[132] Nonetheless, the Slovak Education Ministry announced that bi-lingual education in Slovak and Hungarian would be introduced in a number of nursery schools that previously taught solely in Hungarian, with new ethnic Slovak teachers being employed to implement this plan.[133] The Education Ministry also issued a statement announcing that it would not yield to pressure from "adventurers". It cited one case in which the head teacher had been removed for not "fulfilling the tasks" of the post, but said nothing about the other dismissals.[134]

Despite protests, the changes promulgated by Education Minister Eva Slavkovska were implemented for the start of the new school year, with about 30 bi-lingual nursery schools being created from institutions that previously worked only in Hungarian.[135] Even moderate parliamentary deputies who had split with Prime Minister Meciar in March 1994 to form the Democratic Union said that they could not support educational autonomy for ethnic Hungarians, because of the mixed ethnic character of southern Slovakia.[136] And one HZDS deputy called for the abolition of state-run ethnic Hungarian schools, saying that only in this way could universal fluency in the state language (Slovak) be assured.[137]

3.5 A New Language Law

Under the 1990 (Czechoslovak) Law On The Official Language, minorities were guaranteed the right to use their own language for official business in towns and districts where they constituted more than 20 per cent of the population.[138] This was less generous than the 10 per cent threshold proposed in the Komarno Declaration, but it was at least a legal principle to which the ethnic Hungarian community had been able to have recourse during earlier language disputes with the central authorities.

However, in November 1995, Vladimir Meciar's government introduced a new draft Law On State Language. In August 1995, he had told Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Horn that there would be consultations on the issue with the Council of Europe before the law was introduced, to prove it was not aimed against the language rights of ethnic minorities, but there is no sign that this was done.[139]

The new law required all official business to be conducted in Slovak, without any explicit provision for minority languages. A separate law on minority language was promised in the future. The law would ban languages other than Slovak in public administration, on street signs and public name plates. Only wedding ceremonies were exempt.[140] Fines of up to Sk 1,000,000 (US$ 34,000) could be imposed on anyone breaking the law.[141] Prime Minister Meciar said that this law would improve the chances of the still unratified Slovak-Hungarian treaty being passed by parliament, presumably because it would ally the fears of nationalist Slovak deputies.[142] Culture Minister Ivan Hudec said that the law was concerned purely with language and had nothing to do with ethnic minorities.[143]

On 15 November 1995, the draft was passed into law, with only three non-ethnic-Hungarian deputies voting with the 17 ethnic Hungarian deputies against it,[144] a reminder that very few ethnic Slovak deputies, however moderate in principle, would risk voting against the grain on nationalist issues.

Hungary protested strongly against the new Law On State Language; Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovacs described his reaction as "sorrow and dissatisfaction", pointing out that Slovakia had ignored Council of Europe recommendations in drafting the law.[145] A week later, Hungary recalled its ambassador to Bratislava for consultations, saying that Slovakia had broken the terms of the treaty signed by Prime Ministers Horn and Meciar in March 1995 and the issue must be resolved.[146] Six months later, the Hungarian Government had still not sent its ambassador back to Bratislava.[147]

3.6 Public Administration

Both Slovakia's ethnic Hungarians and the Slovak Government have paid much attention in their various ways to the question of local government and territorial division. Local autonomy was after all the main goal identified by Egyutteles leader Miklos Duray after the signing of the Slovak-Hungarian basic treaty in March 1995.[148]

Ethnic Hungarian leaders wanted to create small local administrative units, based on the density of the ethnic Hungarian population in each region. This was stated in the Komarno Declaration.[149] But the Slovak Government planned larger, north-south administrative regions, which would have the effect of breaking up the ethnic Hungarian areas along the southern border with Hungary and diluting their demographic density with the ethnic Slovak populations to the north.[150] Eight new regions were planned - Kosice, Presov, Banska Bystrica, Zilina, Trencin, Bratislava, Trnava and Nitra - none of which would have an ethnic Hungarian majority.[151] And, as MKM deputy Pal Csaky pointed out, the law would have implications for the electoral districts in future elections, which could reduce the number of ethnic Hungarian deputies.[152] Other critics of the Government also maintained that the new division was a form of gerrymandering aimed at securing future election successes for government parties.[153] Instead, the ethnic Hungarian deputies proposed a system of 16 regions, retaining the present districts.[154] In an interview, Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar claimed that the country had been divided in this way because each unit needed a population of at least 500,000 people to be "capable of an independent social life". He said there would then be around 80 districts.[155]

The final law passed on 22 March 1996 divided Slovakia into eight regions and 79 districts. The voting was not as decisive as it had been for the Law On State Language, with 82 deputies voting in favour and 52 against.[156] The law was due to be implemented on 1 July 1996, but it was delayed when President Kovac refused to ratify it, and returned it to parliament for further debate. This was not, according to the President, because of the concerns of ethnic Hungarians, but because Bratislava would lose financial support under the new division.[157]

3.7 The Slow Road to Treaty Ratification

While education, the language law and the administrative division of the country were being discussed in parliament, the Slovak-Hungarian basic treaty was still awaiting ratification. In August 1995, Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar said that October or November 1995 was a realistic date for ratification.[158] After a meeting with his Hungarian counterpart, Gyula Horn, he said that the treaty already "had enormous weight", adding that ratification was now an internal Slovak matter.[159]

Following the passing of the Law On State Language in November 1995, Slovak Prime Minister Meciar was still optimistic about Slovak-Hungarian relations, despite Hungarian complaints about the new law, and talked of a political thaw and improved trade.[160] Foreign Minister Juraj Schenk said that the process of treaty approval was still on course, but added that Hungarian reaction to the Law On State Language had created a negative atmosphere in the parliamentary committees discussing the treaty.[161] Indeed, SNS deputies called for the ratification process to be halted.[162] A parliamentary debate on the treaty, scheduled just before the Christmas recess, was postponed into the new year by a majority vote.[163]

The process dragged on through the winter, despite a pledge of support in January 1996 from SNS deputies.[164] After a series of assurances from Slovak politicians that ratification was imminent, the treaty was finally passed by parliament on 26 March 1996, just over a year after it was first signed. All the ethnic Hungarian deputies abstained from the vote, which was otherwise virtually unanimous.[165]

However, there was an addition, in the form of several addenda, to the treaty text that had been signed by the two Prime Ministers in March 1995. These stated baldly that Slovakia did not recognise the principle of collective rights for minorities.[166] At a stroke, this annulled the inclusion of Council of Europe Recommendation 1201 which had seemed such a positive step in Paris a year earlier. A Slovak Foreign Ministry spokesman made this explicit by saying that collective rights on an ethnic basis were unacceptable and that there was now "no manoeuvring space for extremist demands".[167] Ethnic Hungarian politicians were quick to point out that the treaty that the Slovak parliament had ratified was a different treaty to that ratified in Budapest, and dismissed the exercise as "pretence, cynicism and fraud".[168]

Hungary took the line that it was the original text of the treaty that had been ratified and that the riders had no value in international law. Budapest had a difficult choice between accepting a flawed ratification, or denouncing the amended treaty and starting negotiations again.[169] Opposition parties called for resolute action and Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovacs sent a note of protest to Bratislava, saying that the treaty, now ratified, must be implemented in its full original version.[170] Following a review by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Hungarian Parliament, the Foreign Ministry announced that it was inconceivable for the Slovak side to ratify the treaty with the addenda.[171]

It seems unlikely however that the Slovak side will review the treaty in the near future. By ratifying an amended treaty, Prime Minister Meciar has fulfilled an international obligation while simultaneously satisfying his domestic allies. A meeting in April 1996 between Csaba Tabajdi, in charge of the Office for National and Ethnic Minorities Abroad at the Hungarian Prime Minister's Office, and ethnic Hungarian deputies from Slovakia, concluded that there was little prospect of the Language Law being amended, and that the basic treaty had even had a harmful effect on Slovakia's policy towards its ethnic Hungarian minority.[172]

4. ETHNIC HUNGARIAN MINORITIES IN THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA

4.1 The Effects of War

Although ethnic Hungarians in Vojvodina, the northern province of Serbia, have not been directly involved in the war in the former Yugoslavia, they have suffered indirectly from the changes in the population balance resulting from the conflict. Under the 1974 Yugoslav Constitution, Vojvodina (Vajdasag, as it called in Hungarian) was an "autonomous province" of Serbia,[173] with an ethnic Hungarian population of between 350,000 and 400,000, around 18 per cent of the total population.[174] However, Vojvodina became a target of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic's nationalist revival in the late 1980s. In the second half of 1988, protest rallies prompted the removal of politicians who supported the existing federal Yugoslav structures and spurred the appointment of specifically pro-Serbian leaders.[175]

The rise of Serbian nationalism considerably worsened the position of ethnic Hungarians in Vojvodina. In 1990 the province's autonomous status was abolished.[176] By 1991, for example, the number of Hungarian language schools in the province had fallen from 197 to 120 over a 25-year period, and there were plans to raise the minimum number of pupils required for a Hungarian language class from 15 to 30. Only ten Hungarian language teachers graduated from the country's universities each year.[177]

The outbreak of war in 1991 made the situation worse in two respects: ethnic Hungarians were killed in the ranks of the Jugoslavska Narodna Armija (JNA - Yugoslav National Army), which was already fighting a Serb campaign in Croatia,[178] and the ethnic Hungarian community at large was accused of anti-Serbian sentiments. Its position was not helped by the Hungarian Government's admission that it had supplied arms directly to Croatia in September 1990, at a time when Croatia was still a republic of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.[179] This gave Serbian ideologues in Belgrade an easy propaganda tool against the Vojvodina ethnic Hungarians when the Serb-Croat fighting reached its height in 1991-92.

Given the scale of the conflict elsewhere in the former Yugoslavia, it was inevitable that Vojvodina's ethnic Hungarians should attract even less media attention than the Kosovo Albanians did during the conflict, even though they were uncomfortably near the front line, especially during the battle for Vukovar and other towns in Eastern Slavonia.

Away from the war itself, there were some isolated attacks on ethnic Hungarian symbols. On 31 May 1994, a church in Subotica, in the north of Vojvodina, one-third of whose 150,000 population is ethnically Hungarian, was damaged by explosives. On the same day, a church in the ethnic Hungarian town of Szeged was also bombed. The attack was condemned by the Vajdasagi Magyarok Demokratikus Kozossege (VMDK - Democratic Community of Hungarians in Vojvodina), the main civic grouping of ethnic Hungarians, as well as the Serbian Ministry for Religious Affairs.[180]

4.2 New Moves for Autonomy

In 1995, following the relative peace between Serbia and Croatia, ethnic Hungarians started to demand some form of autonomy to replace the old federal Yugoslav system. At a meeting in March 1995, Andras Agoston, the long-serving VMDK chairman, set out a plan for a specifically Hungarian bicameral house of representatives in the province. This would enable ethnic Hungarians, elected to such bodies, to take responsibility for education and culture.[181] Vajdasagi Magyarok Szovetsege (VMS - Federation of Vojvodina Hungarians), another ethnic Hungarian social organization, supported the VMDK position,[182] and its chairman Jozsef Kasza wrote to Hungarian Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovacs to argue that ethnic minorities in both Hungary and Serbia be involved in discussions of a basic treaty between the two countries.[183] After the autonomy proposal was made public, an alternative grouping, Vajdasagi Magyarok Polgari Mozgalom (VMPM - Civic Movement of Vojvodina Hungarians), was established specifically to oppose the efforts of the VMDK and VMS. Its chairman, Jozef Berec, maintained that it was better for ethnic Hungarians to work with existing political parties in Serbia, instead of pursuing the "isolation" of autonomy.[184]

However, this new movement represented a minority opinion among ethnic Hungarians. At a convention in June 1995, VMS transformed itself in a political party. Its chairman, Ferenc Csubela, claimed that VMDK was too left-wing and that VMS would have a broader appeal. Its declared aims were to represent the political interests of ethnic Hungarians and preserve national culture and identity. The deputy chairman of the Hungarian Government's Office for National and Ethnic Minorities Abroad, Erika Torzsok, issued a statement of support for VMS and the idea of ethnic Hungarian-majority self-governments.[185] She even recommended the possibility of a future electoral alliance between VMDK and VMS,[186] a plan echoed by Ferenc Csubela who enthusiastically declared that Vojvodina ethnic Hungarians had never been closer to autonomy, adding, slightly unfortunately perhaps, that the programmes of self-government that the international community proposed to the Bosnian and Krajina Serbs would be perfectly acceptable for his community as well.[187] Clearly, his formulation was intended to evoke a sympathetic response from Belgrade.

However, within a week Margit Savovic, the Yugoslav Minister in charge of Human Rights, declared the demand for autonomy unconstitutional, because it was based on an ethnic rather than a geographical criterion. She said such a move would put one group in Vojvodina in a privileged position.[188]

4.3 A Shifting of the Demographic Balance

If the cessation of fighting in former Yugoslavia gave ethnic Hungarian parties an opportunity to raise the autonomy question again, it simultaneously brought a new demographic threat as ethnic Serbs from Krajina in Croatia started to seek resettlement in Serbia proper. By August 1995, as Croatian forces retook Krajina and ethnic Serbs from the area fled east, ethnic Hungarians in Vojvodina were protesting to the Belgrade authorities about the number of ethnic Serbs arriving in towns like Subotica and Senta.[189] According to VMS chairman Ferenc Csubela, 90,000 of the 160,000 ethnic Serbs who left Krajina had been directed to resettle in Vojvodina.[190] Hungarian Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovacs condemned the moves. After a meeting with Csaba Csubela, he added that the Hungarian Government wanted to maintain good relations with Serbia.[191] Indeed, Foreign Minister Kovacs explicitly rejected the suggestion made by a minor Hungarian party for border changes to resolve the Hungarian aspect of the "south Slav crisis". While renewing his criticism of the resettlement of Krajina ethnic Serbs in Vojvodina, Foreign Minister Kovacs emphasized that his government had no intention of engaging in the "hazardous venture" of questioning borders.[192] From the Yugoslav Government side, Minister Margit Savovic dismissed claims that the resettlement of "hapless refugees" from Krajina was a device to shift the ethnic balance, adding that it was the sovereign right of the state to pursue such resettlement plans.[193]

The resettlement continued for the rest of the year and Csaba Tabajdi, head of the Hungarian Office for National and Ethnic Minorities Abroad, took the opportunity to discuss the issue during a visit to Budapest by Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Slobodan Babic. No resolutions were forthcoming, but Csaba Tabajdi stated that the situation was a test of relations between the two countries.[194] During a television debate in mid-September, Csaba Tabajdi played down the problem to some extent, saying that only 30,000 to 40,000 of the ethnic Serbs who fled to Vojvodina had been resettled in areas of high ethnic Hungarian concentration.[195] Csaba Tabajdi reiterated that he had demanded some form of local autonomy for ethnic Hungarians in Vojvodina during Deputy Prime Minister Babic's visit, but he could not point to any concrete responses. He also urged the ethnic Hungarian political parties to act in unison and avoid quarrelling between themselves.[196] During the same debate, Andras Agoston, VMDS chairman, was more forthright, pointing out that some of the Krajina ethnic Serbs had been resettled in houses belonging to ethnic Hungarians who were working in Germany or had left for Hungary. He maintained that this was an ethnically motivated policy and that ethnic Hungarians had no political power to protect their villages.[197] There were also reports of ethnic Hungarians being forcibly removed from their houses to make way for Krajina ethnic Serbs, whose resettlement papers were later found to be forged.[198]

At the same time, a delegation of ethnic-Hungarian mayors visited Budapest, where they were received by Hungarian President Arpad Goncz and other high-ranking officials.[199] Speaking on behalf of the delegation, Jozsef Kasza, mayor of Subotica, said that ethnic Hungarians in Serbia were being forced out of political and economic posts and suffering discrimination in education. Ethnic Serb refugees, he claimed, were being granted immediate admission to institutes of higher education, while local ethnic Hungarians had to take entry examinations.[200] According to Jozsef Kasza's figures, 115,000 of the 160,000 ethnic Serb refugees from Krajina had been resettled in Vojvodina. He said that the ethnic-Hungarian population had now dropped to 290,000. This represented a reduction of 25 per cent since 1985, due to emigration caused by the pressure of Serb nationalism and the requirement to do military service in the JNA.[201] The Hungarian Foreign Ministry issued another condemnation of the resettlement programme, and called on the Yugoslav authorities to take action against extremist elements.[202]

There seems to be little prospect of the present government in Belgrade making any legal concessions to ethnic Hungarian aspirations for any new autonomy status.

4.4 The Croatian Case

The ethnic Hungarian minority in Croatia has been less of an issue during the Yugoslav conflict, partly because of its small size and partly because Hungarian support for Croatia has made the government in Zagreb less suspicious of this minority than the Serbian Government is of the Vojvodina ethnic Hungarians. Estimates of the ethnic Hungarian population in Croatia vary between 26,000 (the official figure) and 40,000.[203] Civil rights - in areas such as language use and education - were essentially the same as those enjoyed by ethnic Hungarians in Vojvodina before the break-up of Yugoslavia. However, the main ethnic Hungarian social organization - Horvatorszagi Magyarok Demokratikus Kozossege (HMDK - the Democratic Community of Hungarians in Croatia) - has had occasion to protest. In September 1995, the Croatian Education Ministry ruled that only children of parents who had declared themselves of Hungarian ethnicity could be taught in Hungarian. According to local figures, only 10 per cent of Hungarian children can therefore be taught in their mother tongue.[204]

Throughout the war, a group of several thousand ethnic Hungarians stayed in eastern Slavonia, near the Serbian border, and suffered the usual wartime deprivations.[205] According to HMDK leader Arpad Pasza, these people, numbering about 5,000, were forced to dig trenches for Serb forces, and were forbidden to speak Hungarian.[206]

In February 1996, the Hungarian Foreign Affairs Committee ratified a bilateral minority protection agreement that had already been passed by the Croatian parliament. Hungarian Foreign Ministry officials described it as the most comprehensive agreement so far reached with a neighbouring country. The agreement will also affect the small ethnic Croat minority in Hungary. Croatia undertakes to restore the principles existing before the start of conflict in 1991, agreeing to use of the minority language in local administration and jurisdiction.[207]

5. THE ETHNIC HUNGARIAN MINORITY IN UKRAINE

5.1 Gradual Progress

Even before the collapse of the Soviet Union and the political changes in Central Europe, local language and education rights for the up to 200,000 ethnic Hungarians living in Transcarpathia, the westernmost Oblast of Ukraine, bordering on Hungary, were undergoing considerable improvement.[208] At the same time, there were cordial inter-governmental links between Budapest and Moscow. This might not appear surprising between two Communist states, but seen against the context of the rapid decline in Hungarian-Romanian relations throughout the 1980s, Hungarian-Soviet relations on the minority issue must be judged as positive.

Throughout the decade preceding the demise of Communist rule in Hungary, signs of improved conditions for Transcarpathian ethnic Hungarians included a cross-border bus service, cross-border economic cooperation,[209] the use of the Hungarian version of local place names in the daily newspaper Karpati Igaz Szo ("Carpathian True Word"),[210] Hungarian Television broadcasts of features about ethnic Hungarians in the USSR,[211] and easier cross-border travel for ethnic Hungarians travelling to cultural events in Hungary.[212] And in 1989 the Karpataljai Magyar Kulturalis Szovetseg (Carpathian Hungary Cultural Society) was set up in the Transcarpathian Oblast to "develop the native customs and traditions of the Hungarian population".[213]

When the General Secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Workers Party, Karoly Grosz visited Transcarpathia in April 1989, he was able to note several advances in local minority rights: Hungarian language entry examinations at the University of Uzhgorod, increased Hungarian language publishing, deliveries of textbooks from Hungary to Beregovo (Beregszasz in Hungarian), the rayon with the main concentration of ethnic Hungarians, and passport-free local travel across the border.[214]

5.2 A Bi-Lateral Treaty

The advent of an independent Ukraine in 1990 continued the positive trend in minority rights for Transcarpathia's ethnic Hungarians. Post-Communist Ukrainian governments have generally pursued a liberal attitude towards the country's minorities, perhaps because of Ukraine's own centuries-long status as a "minority" under Russian rule. In December 1991, a local referendum resulted in a large majority (89 per cent) voting to create an ethnic Hungarian autonomous region in Beregovo.[215] The referendum was held despite some opposition from the Ukrainian nationalist Rukh movement, and it did not result in any immediate provision of self-government.[216]

In May 1993, a Hungarian-Ukrainian basic treaty was signed, in which Hungary renounced any territorial demands towards Transcarpathia. Hungarian Foreign Minister Geza Jeszenszky stressed that his country would seek to guarantee rights for ethnic Hungarians living beyond the present national borders, saying that the treaty should set a precedent for minority rights. He added that in Romania the chances for a similar treaty were not good.[217] Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk had said, on a visit to Budapest two months earlier, that the ethnic Hungarian minority should enjoy rights and freedoms, but not special rights, adding that he considered the "Hungarian question" now settled.[218]

However, some factions of President Jeszenszky's own party, the Magyar Demokrata Forum (MDF - Hungarian Democratic Forum), were critical of the treaty with Ukraine, because of its explicit renunciation of territorial ambitions. In the run-up to the May 1994 elections, which MDF lost, some party politicians were keen to distance themselves from the treaty, describing it as a one-off event.[219]

The Hungarian-Ukraine basic treaty incorporated and built upon the Ukrainian Law on National Minorities, passed in June 1992. This in turn incorporated earlier language and citizenship laws. All residents of Ukraine at the time of independence were granted citizenship and the right to use their own, minority language in areas where a non-Ukrainian ethnic group formed a local majority.[220] The Law on National Minorities restated these rights, and further provided for access to education and media in minority languages, and government financial support for ethnic minorities. A Ministry of Nationalities was also set up.[221] Therefore, the ethnic Hungarians of Beregovo already had comprehensive minority rights before the signing of the bilateral treaty.

In November 1992, during a visit of Russian President Boris Yeltsin to Budapest, Hungary and Russia signed a bilateral declaration on minority rights. But the minorities involved only number a few thousand on each side, and the significance of the declaration was minor.[222]

5.3 Aspirations for Autonomy

Despite the generous provisions of the Ukraine Minorities Law, further guaranteed by the 1993 Hungarian-Ukrainian bilateral treaty, the question of local autonomy, mandated by the 1991 referendum, remained. Mihaly Toth, the leader of the ethnic Hungarian faction in the Beregovo regional council, observed in September 1993 that autonomy was unlikely in the short run, because the central government was preoccupied with the poor economic situation. In the meantime, while retaining the long-term goal of autonomy, he said that gradual steps in the cultural and other fields could be taken, creating autonomy on "an unofficial basis".[223]

Another regional deputy, Gyorgy Dupka, said the rights guaranteed to ethnic Hungarians in Ukraine went beyond anything granted to ethnic Hungarian minorities elsewhere. All ethnic Hungarian villages have bilateral place-name signs, and the Hungarian flag can be flown on buildings of local self-government. Nonetheless, Gyorgy Dupka still said he believed the 1991 referendum result was a sufficiently strong demand for autonomy, which he said would be declared failing government action.[224]

However, by the time of the 1994 Ukrainian elections, local ethnic Hungarian politicians had made no such declaration, and after a good showing in the regional polls, they seemed to be content with the present provisions for minority rights.[225]

6. MINORITIES IN HUNGARY

6.1 A Matter of Scale

In bilateral negotiations with neighbouring countries, Hungary has one advantage when it comes to minority issues: the relatively small size of its own ethnic minorities. By far the largest is the Roma minority, numbering between 600,000 and 750,000,[226] but neither the ethnic Slovak, Romanian or South Slav minorities number over 100,000.[227] This means that Hungary does not have the same task accommodating its own minorities as Romania or Slovakia, for example, have providing for their ethnic minorities. Furthermore, the Roma have no foreign government to speak on their behalf.

Hungarian politicians have been very aware that the standards that Hungary applies to its own minorities will be a useful measure of the treatment it expects for ethnic Hungarians in other countries. In July 1993, a Law on Minority Rights was passed.[228] Presenting the bill to parliament nine months earlier, Minister Without Portfolio Jozsef Nagy noted that "not one of the European countries which has a situation similar to ours has endeavoured with such a comprehensive regulation on this issue".[229] The provisions of the new law, he stressed, would guarantee preservation of the national and ethnic self-identity of all minorities living in Hungary; a right to representation in the national parliament and self-government were both included in the draft of the law. Language rights in teaching, culture and public life were also to be guaranteed, and financial means to be provided by the state for their fulfilment.[230] Indeed, the proposal was a most inclusive model of the laws Hungary wanted to see enacted in surrounding states.

Some minority representatives had identified shortcomings in such provisions prior to the discussion of the new law. The ethnic Croat community complained of a lack of schooling in Croat, and a lack of ethnic Croat priests. Ethnic Germans also wanted better provision of education in their mother tongue. But the main complaint was not regarding the basic legal conditions, but rather with respect the lack of state funds to finance community centres and other local institutions.[231]

6.2 The Workings of the New Law

When the Law on Minority Rights was passed, on 7 July 1993, it explicitly sought to reverse the tendency towards ethnic assimilation of the Communist era. Collective rights were central to the law, with language, education, media and culture promoted and protected. There were also provisions banning discrimination against minorities.[232] A structure was established for local self-governing councils in areas with at least 30 per cent minority populations, which, as well as functioning independently, would send delegates to a National Self-Governing Council.[233]

As the law was passed, the Hungarian Government stated that it hoped that it would have great importance beyond Hungary's borders and contribute to the development of legal guarantees elsewhere.[234] Minorities within Hungary reacted favourably to the broad principles of the law, but some groups, especially the Roma, reserved judgement until they saw how it would be funded. There were complaints of delays in establishing proper minority representation at national level, and of inadequate funding. The Roma community complained that the Government had given the World Federation of Hungarians a building in Budapest, which had previously been earmarked for Roma use.[235]

Hungary's minority rights legislation has not stopped neighbouring governments making occasional complaints about the treatment of their minorities within Hungary. However, among the countries under discussion in this paper, only Hungary has passed a law on minorities that complies with the Council of Europe Recommendation 1201. Clearly Hungarian law is far more accommodating of minority rights than is the case in Slovakia, Romania or Serbia.

7. HUNGARIAN POLITICAL POLICY

7.1 A Strong Voice for the Ethnic Hungarians

The main non-governmental voice for ethnic Hungarians on the international stage is the Magyarok Vilagszovetsege (MVSZ - the World Federation of Hungarians). This organization was founded at the Second World Congress of Hungarians, held in Budapest in 1938 (the first had been held nine years earlier). Its stated aims were to promote Hungarian language and culture, and to reinforce relations between Hungary and the émigré community. During the Communist era, MVSZ was run by Party appointees, but in December 1991, a MVSZ general assembly elected new officers, including the writer Sandor Csoori as its President. This paved the way for the Third World Congress of Hungarians, held in August 1992.[236]

The Third World Congress attracted more than 5,000 ethnic Hungarians from outside Hungary, and became a focal point of the then Hungarian Government's own concerns about Hungarians in neighbouring countries. It was at the Third World Congress that Prime Minister Jozsef Antall made his speech in which he wished "in spirit" to be Prime Minister for 15 million Hungarians, a statement which brought accusations of revanchism.[237] Hungarian President Arpad Goncz had made similar statements at the start of his presidency, expressing strong support for ethnic Hungarians abroad.[238]

The Magyar Demokrata Forum (MDF - Hungarian Democratic Forum) government that remained in power from 1990 until the 1994 elections, followed a foreign policy line which strongly and explicitly supported ethnic Hungarian communities abroad. Foreign Minister Geza Jeszenszky repeatedly called for local autonomy as the best way of solving the issue of minority rights in post-Communist states.[239] He also supported voting rights for Hungarian citizens resident abroad, although this measure affected members of the diaspora in the West rather than ethnic Hungarians in Central and Eastern Europe.[240] MDF ministers tried to offer moral and material support to ethnic Hungarian communities abroad, holding regular meetings with ethnic Hungarian political leaders and, for example, mobilising charities to distribute medical aid to Hungarian communities in Slovakia, Romania, Vojvodina and elsewhere.[241]

After the death of Prime Minister Jozsef Antall in December 1993, the new MDF Prime Minister Peter Boross picked up the Antall line when he said that "no responsible Hungarian politician can forget the fact that there are 15 million of us in the world", adding that his duty was to care for all Hungarians.[242] In February 1994, he returned to the same theme, when he stated that 35 per cent of the Hungarian population lived beyond the country's borders.[243]

7.2 The Office for National and Ethnic Minorities Abroad

One innovation of the MDF government was the upgrading of a department within the Prime Minister's office that dealt with ethnic minorities abroad, and also Hungary's own minorities. It had existed during the Communist era,[244] but it now assumed a much higher profile. A high-ranking civil servant, Geza Entz, was appointed to run the office.[245] After the July 1994 elections, he was succeeded by Csaba Tabajdi, who had worked at the ruling Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party Foreign Affairs Department in the mid to late eighties where he had promoted an official line supporting ethnic Hungarians abroad.[246]

Geza Entz and Csaba Tabajdi both struck a moderate tone, in contrast to some of their political masters, calling for the gradual erosion of mistrust and the suspicion that demands for minority rights were veiled threats against the majority populations.[247] After the Slovak elections of September 1994, Csaba Tabajdi said that cross-border Hungarians must now get on with life in their motherland, although he added that he expected negotiations with the new Slovak Government to be difficult.[248] According to Csaba Tabajdi, it was impossible for Hungary to support minority rights for ethnic Hungarians in neighbouring countries without the consent of the "majority elite" and a process of talks.[249]

As well as formulating and presenting government policy on ethnic minorities, the Office for National and Ethnic Minorities Abroad arranges visits of ethnic Hungarian representatives to meet government officials in Budapest and channels government financial support to ethnic Hungarian associations abroad. Some of this money is channelled through MVSZ, which, among other activities, operates and partly funds Duna TV, a satellite television service based in Budapest which reaches ethnic Hungarians throughout Central and Eastern Europe.[250]

7.3 A Change of Government

In July 1994, Magyar Szocialist Part (MSP - Hungarian Socialist Party) formed a new coalition government after two months of post-election uncertainty. The basic policy on ethnic Hungarians abroad did not change. The new Prime Minister Gyula Horn had chaired the parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee immediately after the fall of Communism, when he said that tensions with neighbouring countries were most alarming precisely because of ethnic Hungarian minorities there, along with economic and security issues.[251] Shortly before the new government was formed, a leading MSP official said that it would have three foreign policy tasks: increased West-European integration, good relations with neighbouring countries, and the issue of ethnic Hungarian minorities, all three being interrelated.[252]

However, although Prime Minister Horn's government pressed its case hard in dealing with Slovakia and Romania during the basic treaty discussions, there was a noticeable decrease in rhetoric compared with the previous MDF government. Csaba Tabajdi claimed in August 1994 that there was now less public sympathy in Hungary for ethnic Hungarians abroad. After the "sinful silence" of the Communist era, the issue had been overemphasised by the MDF government, he said, with the result that Hungarians at home came to feel their interests were being neglected.[253]

Financial support for ethnic Hungarians abroad was effectively reduced after the MSP came to power, as the new government sought to reduce a large budget deficit. In mid-1994, the level of support stood at Ft 230 million (US$ 1.56 million) a year. On taking over at the Office for National and Ethnic Minorities Abroad, Csaba Tabajdi said he would like to see a three-fold increase in that figure, although he realised that was unlikely, partly because the provisions of the Law on National Minorities had to be funded. He did say that overall he expected support to be maintained for ethnic Hungarians abroad.[254]

Within a month, however, the government had advanced a new funding plan, which would review the funding of all ethnic Hungarian organizations and then assess the Hungarian state budget's contribution on the basis of their total revenue. This served notice that ethnic Hungarian organizations would have to find more funds from private Western donors (presumably Hungarian émigrés) and their own resources, and rely less on the government in Budapest.[255] By October 1994, funding for ethnic Hungarian associations in Romania had already been reduced.[256] The austerity had not eased a year later, when Prime Minister Horn met the RMDS leader Bela Marko in Budapest and turned down his request for additional funds for ethnic Hungarians outside Hungary, because the budget deficit made such grants impossible.[257]

But, even setting budgets aside, Prime Minister Gyula Horn failed to impress some advocates of the ethnic Hungarian case. He had angry exchanges with the leader of Slovakia's ethnic Hungarians Miklos Duray, after the signing of the Slovak-Hungarian basic treaty in March 1995. Prime Minister Horn had described Miklos Duray's stance on the treaty as negative, to which Miklos Duray replied that the Hungarian Prime Minister must have been either drunk or misinformed. Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar managed to turn the incident to his advantage by publicly apologising to Hungarian Prime Minister Horn for this insult from "an ethnic politician", thus driving the wedge deeper between Gyula Horn and Miklos Duray.[258] The Hungarian Prime Minister seemed more concerned to flatter Prime Minister Meciar than support ethnic Hungarians, partly perhaps because the two men shared a past in their respective Communist bureaucracies, but perhaps also because Prime Minister Horn believed that this was the best way to secure Slovak ratification of the basic treaty.[259]

According to the UNHCR representative in Hungary, Philippe Labreveux, Hungarian sympathy for ethnic Hungarian refugees has considerably diminished since the late 1980s, when escapees from Romania were welcomed in what was seen as an act of national solidarity. Observers blame this on economic austerity and the excessive stress put on the ethnic Hungarian issue by the MDF government, which has resulted in a backlash, both in popular sentiment and government policy. According to UNHCR figures, only a few of the 2,000 Vojvodina ethnic Hungarians with temporary refugee status in Hungary want to settle there. The majority would prefer to move to a Western country with better job prospects.[260]

7.4 Irredentist Elements

Even if the Hungarian Prime Minister Horn government has disappointed some ethnic Hungarians, there has been no basic change of principle in official Hungarian thinking. And there has certainly been no questioning of the post-Trianon borders.

However, one small right-wing party, Fuggetlen Kisgazda, Foldmunkas es Polgari Part (FKGP - the Independent Smallholders' Party), which has a modest representation on the opposition benches, has been more outspoken. In 1994, the FKGP called for "fluid" borders, which it said would result from more territorial autonomy for ethnic Hungarians abroad.[261] It accused Gyula Horn of trying to conclude basic treaties with Slovakia and Romania to try and cover up his failures in domestic policy, and without having regard for the ethnic Hungarian populations involved.[262] In March 1996, to the horror of the Hungarian parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, an FKGP deputy called for the peaceful reannexation of territory in his district along the present Hungarian-Ukrainian border.[263] Such views, in public at least, remain the preserve of a tiny minority.

8. PROSPECTS FOR ETHNIC HUNGARIAN MINORITY RIGHTS

8.1 Defining International Norms

The most useful tool for defining the concrete aspirations of ethnic minorities in Central Europe has undoubtedly been the Council of Europe's Recommendation 1201, which was adopted by the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly on 1 February 1993, along with the complementary Charter on Regional and Minority Languages, adopted by the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers on 22 June 1992. Recommendation 1201 provides for rights of association and language use for minorities, as well as for local autonomous structures in keeping with national legislation.[264]

Although Recommendation 1201 is in itself extremely comprehensive, neither it nor the Council of Europe has been the final arbiter in matters concerning ethnic minorities, despite that fact that Hungary, Slovakia and Romania are all now CE members. When Slovakia joined the organization in June 1993, membership was offered on several conditions: freedom to use place names and family names in minority languages, and consideration of minorities when amending local administration structures. When Slovakia failed to implement these requirements immediately, Hungary tried to block its admission to the Council of Europe, but was overruled by other member states.[265] The ethnic Hungarian parties in Slovakia had already presented a brief to the Council of Europe on the language issue;[266] nonetheless Slovakia was admitted. Barely two years later, and despite now being a Council of Europe member[267]267, Slovakia's parliament had passed a far more restrictive language law than the one that was the subject of dispute in 1993.

Two contrasting impulses seem to be at work here. Bodies such as the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and ultimately the European Union have an interest in acting as centripetal forces, binding together the states of post-Cold War Europe. At the same time, to varying degrees, the above mentioned organizations all seek to monitor human rights issues and promote equal treatment for ethnic minorities. But the question is whether states should be admitted first, and then encouraged to improve their record, or denied admittance, which could then risk the destabilizing effects of isolation. In this respect the interests of states generally take priority over those of their minorities.[268]

8.2 Differing Standards

This is not a specific Hungarian issue: it is a European problem"[269]269, in speaking thus of the deadlock over the Hungarian-Romanian basic treaty, Hungarian Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovacs was internationalizing the issue in a broad and multivalent manner. But the question is: what kind of European problem is it?

With several European bodies to appeal to for advice and judgement on minority issues, it is possible - at least in the short term - for states to present specific initiatives to the body they best expect to approve it. When Romanian President Ion Iliescu presented his plan for "historic reconciliation" with Hungary, his Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu defended it at the OSCE in Vienna, rather than referring it to the Council of Europe. Indeed, the occasion also allowed Melescanu to praise the OSCE's use of "preventative democracy" to promote regional reconciliation.[270] President Iliescu's proposal suited this approach well, as it was concerned with inter-governmental dialogue and presidential initiative, not the basic nuts and bolts of minority rights. An appeal to "European standards" gives politicians even more scope to trim their diplomatic cloth to best effect. Clearly there are any number of European standards which are in use somewhere on the continent by a democratic government. An insistence on individual rather than collective rights can be justified by referring to France, for example, as President Iliescu did.[271] For every collective model of citizens' rights, a individualist countermodel can be found.

8.3 Prospects for the Future

Pan-European bodies have been more successful in applying diplomatic shocks and posting warnings than actually changing minority policy in Eastern Europe. As Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar employed increasingly autocratic measures against his political opponents in the autumn of 1995, the European Union Presidency issued a formal warning about the state of democracy in the country, followed by a similar resolution in the European Parliament.[272] In January 1996, the OSCE's High Commissioner for Ethnic Minorities, Max van der Stoel, visited Romanian schools and expressed concern about the workings of the Education Law.[273] The practical effects of these warnings, however, appear so far to have been nil.

The two organizations that all Central and Eastern European states most aspire to join - the European Union and NATO - are not primarily concerned with ethnic minority issues. Their main criteria for admission are economic fitness and geopolitical stability respectively. Thus, neither body is likely to make ethnic minority rights an absolute criterion for membership, although of course they may stress the desirability of good ethnic relations. It is true that regional security can be adversely affected by minority disputes, but it is equally likely that countries will do their utmost to suppress rather than solve those disputes, in order to create conditions for membership. The OSCE Stability Pact, a idea first formulated by former French Prime Minister Eduard Balladur, stipulates that countries must solve their mutual disputes between themselves before being admitted to the OSCE or EU. However, it remains to be seen how strict the definition of "solve" will be, when the Central European countries are near to membership.[274] And the principle of a joint application process is something that Hungary has already rejected, as it clearly sees itself as further along the road to membership than Slovakia or Romania.[275]

9. CONCLUSION

With the exception of Ukraine, rights for the ethnic Hungarian minorities in all the countries under consideration in this paper have worsened in the five and a half years since the end of the Cold War. In Slovakia and Romania, specific laws dealing with language rights, education and territorial administration have demonstrably worsened the position of the ethnic Hungarian community. In Vojvodina, the aftermath of the Yugoslav War, the resettlement of ethnic Serb refugees in the area and the nationalist make-up of the government in Belgrade have made an improvement in ethnic rights unlikely, and a return to the old autonomous status of Vojvodina unthinkable in the near future.

The Slovak ratification of the treaty with Hungary is perhaps the most disturbing trend, both for Hungary itself and for Europe as a whole. Slovakia took an entire year to ratify the treaty, and when it finally did so, it refused to acknowledge the clause most vital to ethnic Hungarian rights and good bilateral relations. Slovakia did this despite being a Council of Europe member, and despite receiving a number of warnings from respected international bodies. There are no signs of the present Slovak Government modifying its position. And with elections due in Romania at the end of the year, the Romanian-Hungarian treaty is unlikely to make progress before 1997.

On the Hungarian side, the government of Prime Minister Gyula Horn has been forced to concern itself mainly with domestic economic issues, and has pulled away from the high profile stance on ethnic Hungarians abroad which was the hallmark of the first post-Communist government. While not abandoning the ethnic Hungarians in neighbouring countries altogether, Prime Minister Horn seems more concerned to make bilateral progress with the country's neighbours despite existing ethnic problems, but also to make independent Hungarian advances in Western Europe. Nonetheless, the manner in which Vladimir Meciar, "a man of his word" according to Gyula Horn,[276] ratified the Slovak-Hungarian treaty must have been a severe blow and leaves Hungary handicapped and outmanoeuvred in its relations with Slovakia.

The pressure from bodies such as the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the European Parliament, may be too weak to effect immediate legal changes, but it will be vital to monitoring the ethnic Hungarian issue in a time of political volatility, and maintain an international focus on minority rights.

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BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "Premier on Relations with USA, New Administrative Regions, Mochovce and Unions". 25 September 1995, quoting Slovak Radio. 22 September 1995.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "Foreign Minister Says Basic Treaties Do Not Have To Be Identical". 26 September 1995, quoting MTI news agency [Budapest]. 24 September 1995.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "Ethnic Hungarian Party Leader Condemns Budapest's Romania Policy". 26 September 1995, quoting Hungarian Radio. 24 September 1995.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "Premier Meets Ethnic Hungarian Leader: No Financial Support Promised". 26 October 1995, quoting Hungarian Radio. 24 October 1995.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "Ethnic Hungarians Say Dismissal of Prefects 'Serious Political Mistake'". 27 October 1995, quoting Duna TV [Budapest]. 24 October 1995.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "Ethnic Hungarian Leader on Budapest Talks". 27 October 1995, quoting Romanian Radio. 24 October 1995.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "Language Bill Linked to Slovak-Hungarian Pact - Meciar". 14 November 1995, quoting TASR news agency [Bratislava]. 13 November 1995.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "Premier Stresses Importance of Good Relations with Hungary". 5 December 1995, quoting Slovak Radio. 1 December 1995.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "Minister Says Slovak-Hungarian Treaty Ratification On Course". 5 December 1995, quoting Slovak TV. 1 December 1995.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "Nationalists Praise President, Want Hungarian Treaty Ratification Stopped". 5 December 1995, quoting Slovak Radio. 1 December 1995.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "Ethnic Hungarians Discuss Autonomy Concept". 15 January 1996, quoting Hungarian Radio. 12 January 1996.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "Cluj Mayor Unveils Controversial Plaque, Comments on OSCE Commissioner". 17 January 1996, quoting Hungarian Radio. 15 January 1996.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "OSCE Official Anxious over Application of Education Law". 17 January 1996, quoting Rompres news agency [Bucharest]. 16 January 1996.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "President Says Ethnic Hungarians not Suppressed". 18 January 1996, quoting Rompres news agency [Bucharest]. 16 January 1996.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "Differences Between Romania and Hungary Should Be Negotiated - Holbrooke". 15 February 1996, quoting Rompres news agency [Bucharest]. 13 February 1996.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "Hungarian-Romanian Minorities to be Excluded from Treaty Talks". 16 February 1996, quoting Hungarian Radio. 14 February 1996.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "Timetable for Romanian-Hungaria Minorities Talks Set". 16 February 1996, quoting Rompres news agency [Budapest]. 14 February 1996.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "Official Rejects Hungarian Idea of Joining NATO at Separate Times". 16 February 1996, quoting Romanian Radio [Timisoara]. 14 February 1996.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "President and Ethnic Hungarian Leader Discuss Minority Issues". 16 February 1996, quoting Romanian Radio [Timisoara]. 14 February 1996.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "Hungary Gives Green Light to Ratification of Minorities Accord with Croatia". 29 February 1996, quoting MTI news agency [Bucharest]. 28 February 1996.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "MP Calls for 'Peaceful Reannexation' of Lost Territory". 4 March 1996, quoting Hungarian Radio. 1 March 1996.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "Ethnic Hungarian Leader Does Not Rule Out Cooperation with Ruling Party ". 4 March 1996, quoting Rompes news agency [Bucharest]. 2 March 1996.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "Ethnic Hungarians See Threat in New Adminstrative Division Plan". 4 March 1996, quoting Duna TV [Budapest]. 2 March 1996.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "Ethnic Hungarians Insist On Settlement of Minority Issue in Treaty". 6 March 1996, quoting Duna TV [Budapest]. 4 March 1996.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "Ruling Romanian Party 'Against Any Kind of Ethnic Autonomy'". 7 March 1996, quoting Rompres news agency [Bucharest]. 5 March 1996.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "Hungarian Party in Romania Alleged to be Seeking Ethnic-Territorial Autonomy". 9 March 1996, quoting Rompres news agency [Bucharest]. 7 March 1996.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. " President Sees No Real Problems with Hungarian Minority". 19 March 1996, quoting Hungarian Radio. 17 March 1996.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "Defence Minister Defends Troop Presence in Ethnic Hungarian Counties". 22 March 1996, quoting Romanian Radio. 20 March 1996.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "Parliament Passes Law on New Territorial Division". 25 March 1996, quoting Slovak Radio. 22 March 1996.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "Parliament Approves Hungary Treaty - with Extra Clause". 28 March 1996, quoting CTK news agency [Prague]. 26 March 1996.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "Text of Addenda to Treaty". 28 March 1996, quoting Slovak TV. 26 March 1996.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "Ethnic Hungarian Leaders Comment on Approval of Treaty". 28 March 1996, quoting Hungarian Radio. 27 March 1996.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "No Collective Rights for Hungarian Minority in Slovakia - Spokesman". 30 March 1996, quoting CTK news agency [Prague]. 28 March 1996.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Foreign Minister Says Protest Sent to Slovakia over Treaty Addenda". 3 April 1996, quoting Hungarian Radio. 1 April 1996.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "Ethnic Hungarian Leader Pessimistic about Treaty with Hungary". 4 April 1996, quoting Hungarian Radio. 2 April 1996.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "Hungary Will Not Accept Rider to Bilateral Treaty". 8 April 1996, quoting MTI news agency [Budapest]. 4 April 1996.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "Hungarian Official, Slovak Ethnic Parties Fear Amendments to Slovak Laws". 12 April 1996, quoting MTI news agency [Budapest]. 10 April 1996.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "Romania: Head of Senior Government Party Wants Dialogue with Ethnic Hungarians". 13 April 1996, quoting Hungarian Radio. 11 April 1996.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "Ethnic Hungarians: Murder of Romanian Policeman Not Ethnically Motivated". 16 April 1996, quoting Hungarian Radio. 12 April 1996.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "Romanian-Hungarian TV Station Begins Broadcasts in Tirgu Mures, Romania". 17 April 1996, quoting Hungarian Radio. 15 April 1996.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "Envoy Speaks of Danger to Hungarians in Eastern Slavonia". 18 April 1996, quoting MTI news agency [Budapest]. 16 April 1996.

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts. "Romanians of Transylvania Complain about Ethnic Cleansing by Hungarians". 27 April 1996, quoting Rompress news agency [Bucharest]. 25 April 1996.

Braham, Mark. The Untouchables: A Survey of the Roma People of Central and Eastern Europe: A Report to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Geneva, March 1993.

Brown, Jen. "Hungarians in Exile". Pozor [Prague], No. 5 (May 1996).

Eastern Europe Newsletter [London]. "Slovakia's Post-Election Prospects". Vol. 8, No. 23 (2 December 1994).

Fisher, Sharon. "Meeting of Slovakia's Hungarians Causes Stir". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Research Report. Vol. 3, No. 4 (28 January 1994).

Fisher, Sharon. "Treaty Fails to End Squabbles over Hungarian Relations". Transition. Vol. 1, No. 9 (9 June 1995).

Fisher, Sharon. "An Education System in Chaos". Transition. Vol. 1, No. 16 (8 September 1995).

Gallagher, Tom. "Controversy in Cluj". Transition. Vol. 1, No. 14 (25 August 1995).

The Guardian [London]. "Hostages in Serbia's Ethnic Cauldron". 13 June 1992.

The Guardian [London]. "Slovaks Put Pressure on Minority". 13 June 1992.

The Guardian Weekly [London]. "Growing Flood of Ethnic Hungarians Crossing the Border to Escape Ceausescu's Repressive Regime". 27 April 1988.

Hungary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Hungarians in the Outside World. Fact Sheets on Hungary, 1. Budapest, March 1993.

The Independent [London]. "Budapest Accuses Serbia of Intimidation". 11 November 1991.

The Independent [London]. "Romanians Vent Old Hatreds Against Gypsies". 19 October 1993.

[The Komarno Declaration]. Convention of Local Government Representatives, Mayors, and Members of Parliament from Southern Slovakia. Statement. Komarom, 8 January 1994.

Kovrig, Bennett. "Hungarian Minorities in East-Central Europe". Washington: Atlantic Council of the United States, March 1994.

Liebich, Andre. "Minorities in Eastern Europe: Obstacles to a Reliable Count". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Research Report. Vol 1, No. 20 (15 May 1992).

Liebich, Andre. "Minorities in Eastern Europe". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Research Report. Vol 2, No. 13 (29 March 1993).

Markos, Edith. "Ethnic Hungarians in the Soviet Union". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Research Report. No. 9 (8 July 1988).

Oltay, Edith. "Minorities as Stumbling Block in Relations with Neighbours". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Research Report. Vol. 1. No. 19 (8 May 1992).

Oltay, Edith. "Hungary Passes Law on Minority Rights". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Research Report. Vol. 2. No. 33 (20 August 1993).

Orenstein, Harold S. Hungary and its Minorities in Serbia, Romania and Slovakia. CAEE Defence Studies. Mons: SHAPE, 12 February 1993.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Hungarian Situation Report. No. 17 (17 September 180).

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Summary of the Daily Press. "Our Present Policy and the Nationality Problem", quoting Magyar Nemzet [Budapest]. 13 February 1988.

Reisch, Alfred. "Radio and Television Agreement with Austria". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Background Report (21 June 1985).

Reisch, Alfred. "Transcarpathia's Hungarian Minority and the Autonomy Issue". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Research Report. Vol 1. No. 15 (7 February 1992).

Reuters. "Hungarians Arrive for Budapest Congress". 18 August 1992.

Reuters. "Amnesty Accuses Romania of Flagrant Human Rights Breach". 18 October 1993.

Reuters. "Serbia's Hungarians to Start Talks with Belgrade". 17 May 1994.

Reuters. "Slovakia Rejects Autonomy for Ethnic Hungarians". 5 October 1994.

Reuters. "Romanian Mayor Bans Rallies by Hungarians". 13 March 1995.

Reuters. "Ethnic Hungarians Step Up Self-Rule Campaign". 27 March 1995.

Reuters. "Hungarian Exiles Still Seeking Redress". 4 April 1995.

Reuters. "Romanian Book Stirs Minority Rights Cauldron". 24 August 1995.

Reuters. "Romanian Hungarians Tune In to New Radio Station". 29 August 1995.

Reuters. "Romania's Hungarians Protest over Education Law". 2 September 1995;

Reuters. "Hungary Monitors Treatment of Minority in Serbia". 5 September 1995.

Reuters. "Hungarian Students Protest Romanian Language Law". 15 September 1995.

Reuters. "Hungary Says Ready to Discuss Iliescu Initiative". 20 September 1995.

Reuters. "Romania Hands 'Reconciliation' Package to Hungary". 22 September 1995.

Reuters. "Ultranationalist Mayor Again Offends Hungarian Minority". 23 September 1995.

Reuters. "Hungary, Romania Reopen Treaty Talks". 3 November 1995.

Reuters. "Slovak Language Law Angers Hungarian Minority". 9 November 1995.

Reuters. "Hungary Protests over Passing of Slovak Language Law". 16 November 1995.

Reuters. "Hungary Recalls Slovak Envoy over Language Law". 23 November 1995.

Reuters. "Hungary to Respond to Romania Reconciliation Call". 6 December 1995.

Reuters. "Slovak Parliament Delays Debate on Hungary Treaty". 20 December 1995.

Reuters. "Slovak PM Gains Vital Support for Hungary Treaty". 17 January 1996.

Reuters. "Romania and Hungary to Resume Basic Treaty Talks". 13 February 1996.

Reuters. "Romania Wants Hungary Treaty Before Election". 15 March 1996.

Reuters. "Hungary Urges Romania to be Flexible over Treaty". 19 March 1996.

Reuters. "Hungarian Parties Slam Slovak Treaty Riders". 28 March 1996.

Reuters, "Slovak President Rejects Administration Law", 10 April 1996.

Ribanszky, Laszlo. "Small Concessions to the Hungarian Minority in Transcarpathia". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Background Report. No. 219 (9 September 1980).

Shafir, Michael. "A 'Radical' Discourse". Transition. Vol. 1, No. 20 (20 October 1995).

Shafir, Michael. "Controversy over Romanian Education Law". Transition. Vol. 2, No. 1 (12 January 1996).

Silber, Laura and Alan Little. The Death of Yugoslavia. London: Penguin Books/BBC Books, 1995.

Stewart, Susan. "Ukraine's Policy Toward Its Ethnic Minorities". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Research Report. Vol. 2, No. 36 (10 September 1993).

Szabo, Matyas. "Hungarian Churches in Hungary Ask for Property Restitution". Prague: Open Media Research Institute, 27 February 1996.

Szabo, Matyas. "'Historic Reconciliation' Awakens Old Disputes". Transition. Vol. 2, No. 5 (8 March 1996).

Taylor, A.J.P. The Habsburg Monarchy 1809-1918. London: Penguin, 1990.

Tokes, Laszlo. "An Alternative Proposal for Romania's Hungarian Minority". Transition. Vol. 1, No. 23 (15 December 1995).

United Press International. "Ethnic Hungarians Celebrate in Transylvania". 15 March 1995.

 

The views expressed in the papers are those of the authors and are not necessarily those of UNHCR.

 



[1] Hungary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hungarians in the Outside World, Fact Sheets on Hungary, 1 (Budapest,

March 1993)

[2] A.J.P. Taylor, The Habsburg Monarchy 1809-1918 (London: Penguin, 1990), pp. 138-9, 143-8

[3] Ibid. p. 290

[4] Hungary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Harold S. Orenstein, Hungary and its Minorities in Serbia, Romania and

Slovakia, CAEE Defence Studies, (Mons: SHAPE, 12 February 1993), p. 1

[5] Hungary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

[6] Michael Shafir, "A 'Radical' Discourse", Transition, Vol. 1, No. 20 (20 October 1995), p. 32

[7] Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Hungarian Situation Report, No. 17 (17 September 1980), pp. 17-18

[8] Edith Oltay, "Minorities as Stumbling Block in Relations with Neighbours", Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Research Report, Vol. 1, No. 19 (8 May 1992), p. 26

[9] Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Summary of the Daily Press, "Our Present Policy and the Nationality Problem",

quoting Magyar Nemzet, 13 February 1988

[10] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Matyas Szueroes on Influences on Foreign Policy", 13 August 1988,

quoting MTI news agency [Budapest], 11 August 1988

[11] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Premier Antall Assumes 'Spiritual' Leadership of Hungarians Beyond the

Borders", 22 August 1992, quoting Hungarian TV, 16 August 1992

[12] Andre Liebich, "Minorities In Eastern Europe: Obstacles to a Reliable Count", Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Research Report, Vol 1, No. 20 (15 May 1992), p. 38. The official Hungarian figure is 2,000,000, with the rider that

this is probably an underestimate. See Hungary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

[13] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Statistics on Gypsy Minority", 2 June 1994, quoting Rompres [Bucharest],

31 May 1994; Reuters, "Amnesty Accuses Romania of Flagrant Human Rights Breach", 18 October 1993

[14] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 2 June 1994

[15] Amnesty International, Romania: Broken Commitments to Human Rights (London, May 1995), p. 30; The

Independent [London], "Romanians Vent Old Hatreds Against Gypsies", 19 October 1993

[16] The Guardian Weekly [London], "Growing Flood of Ethnic Hungarians Crossing the Border to Escape

Ceausescu's Repressive Regime", 27 April 1988

[17] Ibid.

[18] Alfred Reisch,"Radio and Television Agreement with Austria", Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Background

Report (21 June 1985), pp. 34-5

[19] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 22 August 1992

[20] Ibid.

[21] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Hungarian Foreign Minister on Signing Agreements with Neighbouring

Countries", 22 August 1992, quoting Hungarian Radio, 18 August 1992

[22] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Premier Horn and Bishop Tokes Clarify Stances on Minority Issues", 26

October 1994, quoting MTI news agency [Budapest], 24 October 1994

[23] Reuters, "Romanian Mayor Bans Rallies by Hungarians", 13 March 1995; United Press International, "Ethnic

Hungarians Celebrate in Transylvania", 15 March 1995

[24] Reuters, 13 March 1995

[25] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Spokesman Condemns Council of Europe Vote on Minorities", 28 April

1995, quoting Rompres news agency [Bucharest], 26 April 1995

[26] Gabriel Andreescu, "Political Manipulation at Its Best", Transition, Vol.1, No. 22 (1 December 1995), p. 46

[27] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Foreign Ministry Spokesman Responds to Martinez Statements", 28 April

1995, quoting Romanian Radio, 26 April 1995

[28] Sharon Fisher, "Treaty Fails to End Squabbles over Hungarian Relations", Transition, Vol. 1, No. 9 (9 June

1995), p. 2

[29] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Hungarian Ethnic Leader Warns of Basic Treaty Dangers", 13 March

1995, quoting Duna TV [Budapest], 10 March 1995

[30] Reuters, "Romanian Politician Rules Out Hungarian Autonomy", 27 April 1995

[31] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Iliescu Criticizes Hungary's Ethnic Minority Policy", 28 April 1995,

quoting Rompres news agency [Bucharest], 26 April 1995

[32] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Presidency Spokesman Contrasts Hungarian, Romanian Practice on

Minorities", 28 April 1995, quoting Rompres news agency [Bucharest], 27 April 1995

[33] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Council of Europe President Says Minority Rights Situation on the

Decline", 28 April 1995, quoting Romanian Radio, 25 April 1995

[34] Andreescu, p. 46

[35] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 28 April 1995, "Spokesman Condemns Council of Europe Vote on

Minorities"

[36] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, " Romanian Papers Criticize Council of Europe Chairman's About-Turn on

Minorities", 28 April 1995, quoting Rompres news agency, [Bucharest], 26 April 1995

[37] Fisher, p. 5

[38] Tom Gallagher, "Controversy in Cluj", Transition, Vol. 1, No. 14 (25 August 1995), pp. 58-60

[39] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Iliescu Wants 'Historic Reconciliation' with Hungary", 1 September 1995,

quoting Rompres news agency [Bucharest], 30 August 1995

[40] Ibid.

[41] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Melescanu Heartened by OSCE Response to Reconciliation Initiative", 12

September 1995, quoting Romanian Radio, 7 September 1995

[42] Reuters, "Hungary Says Ready to Discuss Iliescu Initiative", 20 September 1995

[43] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Ethnic Hungarian Leader Sceptical About Reconciliation Plans", 22

September 1995, quoting Hungarian Radio, 20 September 1995

[44] Reuters, "Romania Hands 'Reconciliation' Package to Hungary", 22 September 1995

[45] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Foreign Minister Says Basic Treaties Do Not Have To Be Identical", 26

September 1995, quoting MTI news agency [Budapest], 24 September 1995

[46] Michael Shafir, "Controversy over Romanian Education Law", Transition, Vol. 2, No. 1 (12 January 1996), pp.

34-6

[47] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Report Says 5.4 Per Cent of School Students Study in Minority

Languages", 21 April 1995, quoting Rompres news agency [Bucharest], 19 April 1995

[48] Reuters, "Romania's Hungarians Protest over Education Law", 2 September 1995; Reuters, "Hungarian Students

Protest Romanian Language Law", 15 September 1995; BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Hungarians in

Transylvania Protest Against Education Law", 19 September 1995, quoting Hungarian Radio, 17 September 1995

[49] Reuters, 15 September 1995; Shafir, p. 35

[50] Shafir, p. 37

[51] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Iliescu Says Romanian Education Law Could Be 'Refined'", 19 September

1995, quoting Hungarian Radio, 17 September 1995

[52] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Parliament Approves Ban on Use of Foreign Symbols - Hungarian

Report", 22 September 1995, quoting Hungarian Radio, 20 September 1995

[53] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Ethnic Hungarian Leader on Budapest Talks", 27 October 1995, quoting

Romanian Radio, 24 October 1995

[54] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Protest at Romanian Replacement for Ethnic Hungarian", 19 September

1995, quoting Hungarian Radio, 15 September 1995

[55] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Ethnic Hungarians Say Dismissal of Prefects 'Serious Political Mistake'",

27 October 1995, quoting Duna TV [Budapest], 24 October 1995

[56] Reuters, "Ultranationalist Mayor Again Offends Hungarian Minority", 23 September 1995

[57] Reuters, "Hungary, Romania Reopen Treaty Talks", 3 November 1995

[58] Matyas Szabo, "'Historic Reconciliation' Awakens Old Disputes", Transition, Vol. 2, No. 5 (8 March 1996), p. 50

[59] Reuters, "Hungary to Respond to Romania Reconciliation Call", 6 December 1995

[60] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Ethnic Hungarian Party Leader Condemns Budapest's Romania Policy", 26

September 1995, quoting Hungarian Radio, 24 September 1995

[61] Laszlo Tokes, "An Alternative Proposal for Romania's Hungarian Minority", Transition, Vol. 1, No. 23 (15

December 1995), p. 60

[62] Shafir, "A Radical Discourse", p. 34

[63] Tokes, p. 60

[64] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Ethnic Hungarians Discuss Autonomy Concept", 15 January 1996, quoting

Hungarian Radio, 12 January 1996

[65] Ibid.

[66] Matyas Szabo, "Hungarian Churches in Hungary Ask for Property Restitution" (Prague: Open Media Research

Institute, 27 February 1996)

[67] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "OSCE Official Anxious over Application of Education Law", 17 January

1996, quoting Rompres news agency [Bucharest], 16 January 1996

[68] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Cluj Mayor Unveils Controversial Plaque, Comments on OSCE

Commissioner", 17 January 1996, quoting Hungarian Radio, 15 January 1996

[69] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "President Says Ethnic Hungarians Not Suppressed", 18 January 1996,

quoting Rompres news agency [Bucharest], 16 January 1996

[70] Associated Press, "Holbrooke Urges Central Europe Not to Make Future Hostage to Past", 13 February 1996

[71] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Differences Between Romania and Hungary Should Be Negotiated -

Holbrooke", 15 February 1996, quoting Rompres news agency [Bucharest], 13 February 1996

[72] Reuters, "Romania and Hungary to Resume Basic Treaty Talks", 13 February 1996

[73] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Hungarian-Romanian Minorities to be Excluded from Treaty Talks", 16

February 1996, quoting Hungarian Radio, 14 February 1996.

[74] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Timetable for Romanian-Hungarian Minorities Talks Set", 16 February

1996, quoting Rompres news agency [Bucharest], 14 February 1996

[75] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Official Rejects Hungarian Idea of Joining NATO at Separate Times", 16

February 1996, quoting Romanian Radio [Timisoara], 14 February 1996

[76] Reuters, "Romania Wants Hungary Treaty Before Election", 15 March 1996

[77] Reuters, "Hungary Urges Romania to be Flexible over Treaty", 19 March 1996

[78] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Ethnic Hungarian Leader Does Not Rule Out Cooperation with Ruling

Party ", 4 March 1996, quoting Rompes news agency [Bucharest], 2 March 1996

[79] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Romania: Head of Senior Government Party Wants Dialogue with Ethnic

Hungarians", 13 April 1996, quoting Hungarian Radio, 11 April 1996

[80] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "President and Ethnic Hungarian Leader Discuss Minority Issues", 16

February 1996, quoting Romanian Radio [Timisoara], 14 February 1996

[81] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, " Ethnic Hungarians Insist On Settlement of Minority Issue in Treaty", 6

March 1996, quoting Duna TV [Budapest], 4 March 1996

[82] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "President Sees No Real Problems with Hungarian Minority", 19 March

1996, quoting Hungarian Radio, 17 March 1996

[83] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Hungarian Party in Romania Alleged to be Seeking Ethnic-Territorial

Autonomy", 9 March 1996, quoting Rompres news agency [Bucharest], 7 March 1996

[84] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Ruling Romanian Party 'Against Any Kind of Ethnic Autonomy'", 7 March

1996, quoting Rompres news agency [Bucharest], 5 March 1996

[85] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Ethnic Hungarian Leader Pessimistic About Treaty with Hungary", 4 April

1996, quoting Hungarian Radio, 2 April 1996

[86] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Romanians of Transylvania Complain About Ethnic Cleansing by

Hungarians", 27 April 1996, quoting Rompres news agency [Bucharest], 25 April 1996

[87] Reuters, "Romanian Book Stirs Minority Rights Cauldron", 24 August 1995

[88] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Defence Minister Defends Troop Presence in Ethnic Hungarian Counties",

22 March 1996, quoting Romanian Radio, 20 March 1996

[89] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Ethnic Hungarians: Murder of Romanian Policeman Not Ethnically

Motivated", 16 April 1996, quoting Hungarian Radio, 12 April 1996

[90] Reuters, "Romanian Hungarians Tune In to New Radio Station", 29 August 1995

[91] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Romanian-Hungarian TV Station Begins Broadcasts in Tirgu Mures,

Romania", 17 April 1996, quoting Hungarian Radio, 15 April 1996

[92] The Guardian [London], "Slovaks Put Pressure on Minority", 13 June 1992

[93] Liebich, "Minorities in Eastern Europe: Obstacles to a Reliable Count", p. 38; Judy Batt, The New Slovakia

(London: The Royal Institute of International Affairs, May 1996), p. 18

[94] Reuters, "Hungarian Exiles Still Seeking Redress", 4 April 1995

[95] Batt, p. 19

[96] The Guardian, 13 June 1992

[97] Election statistics collated in Batt, p. 37.

[98] Eastern Europe Newsletter [London], "Slovakia's Post-Election Prospects", Vol. 8, No. 23 (2 December 1994),

pp. 7-8

[99] Ibid.

[100] Sharon Fisher, "Meeting of Slovakia's Hungarians Causes Stir", Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Research

Report, Vol. 3, No. 4 (28 January 1994), p. 42

[101] [The Komarno Declaration], Convention of Local Government Representatives, Mayors, and Members of

Parliament from Southern Slovakia, Statement (Komarom, 8 January 1994), pp. 1-2

[102] Ibid., p. 8

[103] Ibid., p. 3, pp. 6-7

[104] Ibid., p. 10

[105] Associated Press, "Ethnic Hungarian Call for 'Special Status' Has Slovaks Fuming", 6 January 1994

[106] Fisher, "Meeting of Slovakia's Hungarians Causes Stir", 1994), pp. 44-5

[107] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "News Conference: No Insistence on Hungarian Territorial Autonomy", 11

January 1994, quoting Hungarian Radio, 8 January 1994

[108] Batt, p. 37

[109] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, " Ethnic Hungarian Leaders Rule Out Cooperation with Meciar", 4 October 1994, quoting Hungarian Radio, 2 October 1994

[110] Fisher, "Meeting of Slovakia's Hungarian's Causes Stir", p. 44

[111] Reuters, "Slovakia Rejects Autonomy for Ethnic Hungarians", 5 October 1994

[112] Eastern Europe Newsletter, p. 8

[113] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 18 January 1996

[114] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Paper Doubts Hungarian Proposals on Bilateral Treaty", 14 December

1994, quoting TASR news agency [Bratislava], 12 December 1994

[115] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "No Great Optimism on Either Side", 7 March 1995, quoting Hungarian

Radio, 5 March 1995

[116] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Slovak Premier Blames Hungary for Lack of Talks Progress", 13 March

1995, quoting Slovak Radio, 10 March 1995

[117] Fisher, "Treaty Fails to End Squabbles over Hungarian Relations", p. 2

[118] Ibid., pp. 4-5

[119] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Foreign Minister on Foreign Policy, Slovak-Hungarian Basic Treaty", 16

March 1995, quoting Slovak Radio, 14 March 1995

[120] Fisher, "Treaty Fails to End Squabbles over Hungarian Relations", p. 5

[121] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Slovakia Already Implemented Treaty with Hungary, Says Parliament

Chairman", 23 March 1995, quoting Slovak Radio, 21 March 1995

[122] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Premier: Nothing New in Basic Treaty with Hungary", 27 March 1995,

quoting Slovak Radio, 24 March 1995

[123] Fisher, "Treaty Fails to End Squabbles over Hungarian Relations", p. 5

[124] Sharon Fisher, "An Education System in Chaos", Transition, Vol. 1, No. 16 (8 September 1995), p. 49

[125] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Parliament Approves Hungary Treaty - with Extra Clause", 28 March

1996, quoting CTK news agency [Prague], 26 March 1996

[126] Reuters, "Ethnic Hungarians Step Up Self-Rule Campaign", 27 March 1995

[127] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Abolish All Hungarian Schools, Ruling Party MP Says", 7 September

1995, quoting CTK news agency [Prague], 5 September 1995

[128] Fisher, "An Education System in Chaos, p. 49

[129] Ibid.

[130] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Ruling Party Condemns 'Extremists' Manipulating Ethnic Hungarians", 1

May 1995, quoting Slovak TV, 29 April 1995

[131] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Ethnic Hungarian Teachers Sacked for Refusing Multilingual Education",

24 June 1995, quoting Hungarian Radio, 22 June 1995

[132] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Ethnic Hungarian Plan Civic Disobedience as Further Teachers Sacked",

6 July 1995, quoting Duna TV [Budapest], 4 July 1995

[133] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "More Ethnic Hungarian Nursery Schools to Teach in Slovak As Well", 21

August 1995, quoting Duna TV [Budapest], 18 August 1995

[134] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Ministry Statement on Hungarian Headmaster's Dismissal", 21 August

1995, quoting TASR news agency [Bratislava], 18 August 1995

[135] Fisher, "An Education System in Chaos", p. 49

[136] Ibid.

[137] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 7 September 1995

[138] Batt, p. 33

[139] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Prime Minister Reports on Meeting with Hungary's Horn", 11 September

1995, quoting Slovak Radio, 8 September 1995

[140] Reuters, "Hungary Protests Passing of Slovak Language Law", 16 November 1995

[141] Reuters, "Slovak Language Law Angers Hungarian Minority", 9 November 1995

[142] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Language Bill Linked to Slovak-Hungarian Pact - Meciar", 14 November

1995, quoting TASR news agency [Bratislava], 13 November 1995

[143] Reuters, 9 November 1995

[144] Batt, p. 33

[145] Reuters, 16 November 1995

[146] Reuters, "Hungary Recalls Slovak Envoy over Language Law", 23 November 1995

[147] Batt, p. 34

[148] Reuters, 27 March 1995

[149] [Komarno Declaration], pp. 8-9

[150] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Coexistence Official Analyses Autonomy Issue for Hungarian Minority",

7 April 1995, quoting Nepszabadsag [Budapest], 5 April 1995

[151] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "New Slovak Adminstrative Division Upsets Hungarian Minority", 20

September 1995, quoting Slovak Radio and Hungarian Radio, 18 September 1995

[152] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Ethnic Hungarians See Threat in New Adminstrative Division Plan", 4

March 1996, quoting Duna TV [Budapest], 2 March 1996

[153] Reuters, "Slovak President Rejects Administration Law", 10 April 1996

[154] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 4 March 1996

[155] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Premier on Relations with USA, New Administrative Regions, Mochovce

and Unions", 25 September 1995, quoting Slovak Radio, 22 September 1995

[156] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Parliament Passes Law on New Territorial Division", 25 March 1996,

quoting Slovak Radio, 22 March 1996

[157] Reuters, 10 April 1996

[158] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Premier Interviewed on Rumours of Resignation, Relations with

Hungary", 28 August 1995, quoting Slovak Radio, 25 August 1995

[159] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 11 September 1995

[160] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Premier Stresses Importance of Good Relations with Hungary", 5

December 1995, quoting Slovak Radio, 1 December 1995

[161] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Minister Says Slovak-Hungarian Treaty Ratification on Course", 5

December 1995, quoting Slovak TV, 1 December 1995

[162] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Nationalists Praise President, Want Hungarian Treaty Ratification

Stopped", 5 December 1995, quoting Slovak Radio, 1 December 1995

[163] Reuters, "Slovak Parliament Delays Debate on Hungary Treaty", 20 December 1995

[164] Reuters, "Slovak PM Gains Vital Support for Hungary Treaty", 17 January 1996

[165] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 28 March 1996

[166] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Text of Addenda to Treaty", 28 March 1996, quoting Slovak TV, 25

March 1996

[167] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "No Collective Rights for Hungarian Minority in Slovakia - Spokesman",

30 March 1996, quoting CTK news agency [Prague], 28 March 1996

[168] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Ethnic Hungarian Leaders Comment on Approval of Treaty", 28 March

1996, quoting Hungarian Radio, 27 March 1996

[169] Reuters, "Hungarian Parties Slam Slovak Treaty Riders", 28 March 1996

[170] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Foreign Minister Says Protest Sent to Slovakia over Treaty Addenda", 3

April 1996, quoting Hungarian Radio, 1 April 1996

[171] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Hungary Will Not Accept Rider to Bilateral Treaty", 8 April 1996,

quoting MTI news agency [Budapest], 4 April 1996

[172] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Hungarian Official, Slovak Ethnic Parties Fear Amendments to Slovak

Laws", 12 April 1996, quoting MTI news agency [Budapest], 10 April 1996

[173] Laura Silber and Alan Little, The Death of Yugoslavia (London: Penguin Books/BBC Books, 1995), p. xxvi

[174] The Independent [London], "Budapest Accuses Serbia of Intimidation", 11 November 1991; The Guardian

[London], "Hostages in Serbia's Ethnic Cauldron", 13 June 1992

[175] Silber and Little, pp 61-3

[176] Reuters, "Serbia's Hungarians to Start Talks with Belgrade", 17 May 1994

[177] The Independent, 11 November 1991

[178] Ibid.

[179] The Guardian, 13 June 1992

[180] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Serbian Ministry Condemns 31st May Explosion at Subotica Church", 4

June 1994, quoting Tanjug news agency [Belgrade], 2 June 1994

[181] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Vojvodina Hungarian Leader Explains New Focus of Autonomy Plans", 8

March 1995, quoting Hungarian Radio, 6 March 1995

[182] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Vojvodina Hungarians Reach Accord on Joint Efforts for Autonomy", 12

March 1995, quoting Hungarian Radio, 10 March 1995

[183] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Vojvodina Hungarians Seek Part in Talks on Hungarian-Yugoslav

Treaty", 17 April 1995, quoting Duna TV [Budapest], 15 April 1995

[184] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Ethnic Hungarian to Set Up New Party on Civic Principles", 17 March

1995, quoting Tanjug news agency [Belgrade], 16 March 1995

[185] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Hungarian Association Transforms into Party", 19 June 1995, quoting

Hungarian Radio, 17 June 1995

[186] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Hungarian Official Says New Vojvodina Party Not Divisive", 19 June

1995, quoting Hungarian Radio, 18 June 1995

[187] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Ethnic Hungarians Say They Have Never Been Closer to Autonomy", 20

June 1995, quoting Hungarian Radio, 18 June 1995

[188] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Minister Says Autonomy for Hungarians Is Unconstitutional", 27 June

1995, quoting Tanjug news agency [Belgrade] 25 June 1995

[189] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Hungarians Fear Change in Ethnic Balance" and "Hungarian Towns

Unwilling to Receive Refugees", 17 August 1995, quoting Hungarian Radio, 15 August 1995, and SRNA news

agency [Pale], 16 August 1995

[190] Agence France Presse, "Serbian Hungarians Seek Help Against Settling of Krajina Refugees", 24 August 1995

[191] Ibid.

[192] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Government Has No Intention of Questioning Borders", 1 September

1995, quoting Nepszabadsag [Budapest], 30 August 1995

[193] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Yugoslav Minister Defends Settling Refugees in Kosovo and Vojvodina",

21 August 1995, quoting Serbian Radio [Belgrade], 18 August 1995

[194] Reuters, "Hungary Monitors Treatment of Minority in Serbia", 5 September 1995

[195] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Ethnic Hungarians Differ over Refugee Situation in Former Yugoslavia",

13 September 1995, quoting Duna TV [Budapest], 10 September 1995

[196] Ibid.

[197] Ibid.

[198] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Vojvodina's Hungarian Leaders on Eviction of Hungarians to House Serb

Refugees", 19 September 1995, quoting Hungarian Radio, 17 September 1995

[199] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Ethnic Hungarians Mayors Visit Budapest", 15 September 1995, quoting

MTI news agency [Budapest], 13 September 1995

[200] Ibid.

[201] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Hungarians Officials Back Autonomy Demand", 15 September 1995,

quoting Duna TV [Budapest], 13 September 1995

[202] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Foreign Ministry Condemns Resettlement of Krajina Serbs in Vojvodina",

21 September 1995, quoting MTI news agency [Budapest], 19 September 1995

[203] Andre Liebich, "Minorities in Eastern Europe", Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Research Report, Vol 2, No.

13 (29 March 1993), p. 42

[204] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Croatian Hungarians Protest over Language of Education Stipulations", 12

September 1995, quoting Hungarian Radio, 10 September 1995

[205] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Envoy Speaks of Danger to Hungarians in Eastern Slavonia", 18 April

1996, quoting MTI news agency [Budapest], 16 April 1996

[206] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 13 September 1995

[207] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Hungary Gives Green Light to Ratification of Minorities Accord with

Croatia", 29 February 1996, quoting MTI news agency [Budapest], 28 February 1996

[208] The 1989 census gives a figure of 155,711, but local sources put the figure at 200,000. See Alfred A. Reisch,

"Transcarpathia's Hungarian Minority and the Autonomy Issue", Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Research

Report, Vol 1, No. 15 (7 February 1992), p. 18. Other reports give a lower figure, for example 170,000 in BBC

Summary of World Broadcasts, "Karoly Grosz in Uzhgorod", 11 April 1989, quoting Hungarian Radio, 4 April

1989.

[209] Laszlo Ribanszky, "Small Concessions to the Hungarian Minority in Transcarpathia", Radio Free Europe/Radio

Liberty Background Report, 219 (9 September 1980), p. 1

[210] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Carpathian Daily Uses Hungarian Names for Villages", 10 March 1988,

quoting Hungarian Radio, 8 March 1988

[211] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "TV Series on Hungarians in USSR", 11 June 1988, quoting Hungarian

TV, 7 June 1988

[212] Edith Markos, "Ethnic Hungarians in the Soviet Union", Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Research Report, 9

(8 July 1988)

[213] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, " Hungarian Society Set Up in Western Ukraine", 27 March 1989, quoting

Radio Kiev, 18 March 1989

[214] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, " Hungarian Language Books for Sub-Carpathian Schools", 6 April 1989,

quoting Hungarian TV, 1 April 1989; BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 11 April 1989; Reisch, p. 19

[215] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Sub-Carpathian Hungarians Vote for Self-Government", 3 December

1991, quoting Hungarian Radio, 2 December 1991

[216] Reisch. pp. 22-3; Susan Stewart, "Ukraine's Policy Toward Its Ethnic Minorities", Radio Free Europe/Radio

Liberty Research Report, Vol. 2, No. 36 (10 September 1993), p. 61

[217] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Jeszenszky Says Ukraine Treaty Provides Precedent for Minority Rights",

14 May 1993, quoting Hungarian Radio, 12 May 1993

[218] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Kravchuk Rules Out 'Special Rights' for Hungarians in Ukraine", 10

March 1993, quoting DUNA TV [Budapest], 5 March 1993

[219] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Senior MDF Politican Says Treaty with Ukraine No Model", 1 November

1993, quoting Hungarian Radio, 27 October 1993

[220] Stewart, p. 56

[221] Ibid.

[222] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Hungarian-Russian Declaration on Guaranteeing Minority Rights", 14

November 1992, quoting ITAR-TASS news agency [Moscow], 11 November 1992

[223] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Ethnic Hungarian Leader Views Prospects of Autonomy", 10 September

1993, quoting Nepszabadsag [Budapest], 2 September 1993

[224] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Ethnic Hungarian Deputy in Ukraine Plans to Declare Autonomy", 1

November 1993, quoting Hungarian Radio, 25 October 1993

[225] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Visiting Sub-Carpathians Assess Hungarian Minority Situation", 15

August 1994, quoting Hungarian Radio, 12 August 1994

[226] Mark Braham, The Untouchables: A Survey of the Roma People of Central and Eastern Europe: A Report to the

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (Geneva, March 1993), p. 7

[227] Liebich, "Minorities in Eastern Europe: Obstacles to a Reliable Count", p. 38. Edith Oltay, "Hungary Passes Law

on Minority Rights", Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Research Report, Vol. 2. No. 33 (20 August 1993), p. 58,

gives figures of 100,000 ethnic Slovaks, 90,000 ethnic Croats, 25,000 ethnic Romanians and 5,000 ethnic Serbs.

[228] Oltay, p. 57

[229] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Minister Nagy Presents Bill on Rights of National and Ethnic Minorities",

3 October 1992, quoting Hungarian Radio, 29 September 1992

[230] Ibid.

[231] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Position of Ethnic Minorities in Hungary", 5 August 1991, quoting

Hungarian Radio, 31 July 1991

[232] Oltay, pp. 57-8

[233] Oltay, p. 59

[234] Oltay, p. 60

[235] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Minority Round Table Meets: Minority Rights Still Not Enforced in

Hungary", 28 March 1994, quoting Hungarian Radio, 23 March 1994

[236] Hungary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

[237] Reuters, "Hungarians Arrive for Budapest Congress", 18 August 1992

[238] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Arpad Goncz on Policy on Hungarian Minorities", 7 May 1990, quoting

Hungarian Radio, 3 May 1990

[239] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Foreign Minister Jeszenszky Speaks on Fight for National Minority

Rights", 4 July 1992, quoting Hungarian Radio, 27 June 1992

[240] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Foreign Minister Jeszenszky on Voting Rights for Hungarians Living

Abroad", 5 June 1992, quoting Hungarian Radio, 30 May 1992

[241] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Minister Surjan on Increasing Health Care for Hungarians Beyond the

Borders", 4 March 1993, quoting Hungarian Radio, 25 February 1993

[242] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Boross on Hungarians Abroad, Farming Subsidies and the Media", 29

December 1993, quoting Hungarian Radio, 26 December 1993

[243] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Boross: 35% of 'the Country's Population' Lives Outside Borders", 1

March 1994, quoting Hungarian TV, 26 February 1994

[244] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Spokesman on Government Reshuffle", 17 December 1990, quoting

Hungarian Radio, 14 December 1990

[245] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Premier Transfers State Secretary to Office of Hungarians Beyond

Borders", 5 June 1992, quoting Hungarian TV, 29 May 1992

[246] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Help for Hungarian Minorities Abroad", 15 February 1988, quoting

Hungarian Radio, 13 February 1988

[247] Reuters, 18 August 1992

[248] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Cross-Border Hungarian Spokesmen Question HSP Minister on Minority

Policy", 11 October 1994, quoting Duna TV [Budapest], 9 October 1994

[249] Agence France Presse, "Hungary Says Minority Issue a European Problem", 6 February 1995

[250] Hungary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

[251] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Gyula Horn on Task of Future Foreign Affairs Committee", 7 May 1990,

quoting Budapest Radio, 3 May 1990

[252] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "HSP Deputy Chairman Outlines Policy Towards Cross-Border

Hungarians", 31 May 1994, quoting Duna TV [Budapest], 29 May 1994

[253] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Tabajdi: Decline in Public Sympathy Towards Cross-Border Hungarians",

24 August 1994, quoting MTI news agency [Budapest], 22 August 1994

[254] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "State Secretary: Support for Ethnic Hungarians Beyond Borders to be

Maintained", 28 July 1994, quoting Hungarian Radio, 25 July 1994

[255] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Government to Change System of Support for Hungarians Beyond

Border", 12 August 1994, quoting Duna TV [Budapest], 9 August 1994

[256] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 26 October 1994

[257] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Premier Meets Ethnic Hungarian Leader: No Financial Support

Promised", 26 October 1995, quoting Hungarian Radio, 24 October 1995

[258] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Ethnic Hungarian Leader on Trading Insults with Hungarian Premier", 23

May 1995, quoting Hungarian TV, 21 May 1995

[259] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Slovak Premier Is a Man of His Word - Hungarian Premier", 6 September

1995, quoting Hungarian Radio, 4 September 1995

[260] Jen Brown, "Hungarians in Exile", Pozor [Prague], No. 5 (May 1996), pp.41-3

[261] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Independent Smallholders Stress Importance of Rights for Hungarians

Abroad", 21 January 1994, quoting Hungarian Radio, 19 January 1994

[262] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "Conference Decides to Set Up Committee Operating as 'All-Hungarian

Government'", 22 August 1994, quoting MTI news agency [Budapest], 18 August 1994

[263] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, "MP Calls for 'Peaceful Reannexation' of Lost Territory", 4 March 1996,

quoting Hungarian Radio, 1 March 1996

[264] Batt, p. 32

[265] Bennett Kovrig, "Hungarian Minorities in East-Central Europe", (Washington: Atlantic Council of the United

States, March 1994), p. 26

[266] Ibid, p. 15

[267] Reuters, 9 November 1995

[268] Batt, p. 26

[269] Agence France Presse, 6 February 1995

[270] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 12 September 1995

[271] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 1 September 1995

[272] Batt, pp. 30-1

[273] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 16 January 1996

[274] Batt, p. 31

[275] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 16 February 1996

[276] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 6 September 1995

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