Open Letter to Mr. Jose Manuel Barroso

Open Letter to Mr. Jose Manuel Barroso
President of the European Commission

Esteemed Mister President!

When Romania entered the European Union, we Szeklers had every right to expect that we will become members of an alliance in which our long lasting state of being deprived of our rights through various means will end. Our expectations were built on the fundamental goals and values that were made mandatory to all member states by the treaties of the European Union, but also on Romania’s efforts to comply with the Copenhagen criteria and to join the community founded on the common constitutional legacy of all nations of the western civilization.
Our expectations turned out to be temporary and premature. It quickly became evident that Romania does not wish to meet the conditions of true democracy, but rather, is satisfied with upholding the appearance of fulfilling its commitments. Beneath the deceiving surface shown to the international public, the discriminative and assimilative policies aimed at chasing us away or assimilating us, are still practiced even years after the fall of the dictatorial regime.
The recent crisis of democracy in Romania should indicate to the rest of the world what we Szeklers are experiencing: the methods and tools of the dictatorship have survived the fall of the dictatorial regime itself, and are much closer to the governing political elite than the constitutional legacy of western democracy. For the past years, the world treated the fact that Hungarian individuals are members of the government in Romania, as a sign of democracy, but at the same time our fundamental rights are violated, the use of our own language is continuously limited, and the restitution of church and community properties confiscated during the communist regime has not only faltered, but now the state has begun to reclaim the returned properties as well.
Szeklerland is an area of 13.500 square kilometers in the middle of Romania, where nearly seven hundred thousand Szeklers still form a 75% majority of the population, in spite of Romania’s assimilation policies. We had every right to hope that once we become citizens of the EU, in the spirit of subsidiarity, we will achieve territorial autonomy, similar to what many people currently possess in the Union. By now it started to show that even the EU citizens are not entirely equal. How else could one explain that the special (autonomous) administrative status, already existing in many member states as an institution of democracy, is unachievable for us, Szeklers? Years ago, on two separate occasions, we presented to the parliament of Romania a bill on Szeklerland’s autonomy, in accordance with the standards of international law and the values of the European Union. Besides being founded entirely on the expressed will of the Szekler people, it did not violate Romania’s constitutional order, and was perfectly compatible with the decentralization process, the necessity of which is constantly proclaimed by every Romanian politician. In spite of all this, the Romanian parliament rejected the bill without even discussing it. The local authorities of Szeklerland initiated a referendum on the subject of autonomy, but central Romanian authorities prevented the referendum from being held. Seeing this, the Szekler National Council organized itself a referendum, leading to the result, that 98% of the voters expressed that they desire Szeklerland’s autonomy. Unfortunately, the Romanian authorities refuse even the dialog in the matter, and treat all citizens of Hungarian nationality with suspicion and hostility.
Right now we are in the danger that the administrative reorganization of the country will be used to deny even the poor decision rights we are granted by the current administrative division, as new plans are regularly enacted to either dismember Szeklerland, or to assimilate it into a larger administrative unit with Romanian majority.
We believe that the EU can only provide a life based on freedom, security and justice to it’s citizens, if all member states respect the values and goals defined by the treaties consistently and in good faith, and the EU is capable of enforcing all obligations that the member states have voluntarily undertook.
Mister President! We ask you to monitor with increased attention the crisis of democracy in Romania, paying specific attention to our status, as democracy may not be partial, it must extend over all citizens and all areas of public life, in the spirit prescribed by the treaties on the European Union, since the Lisbon Treaty.

Makkfalva – Ghindari, the 5th of august 2012

In the name of the Standing Committee of the Szekler National Council
Izsák Balázs

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