Hungary must defend rights of ethnic Hungarians in Ukraine

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European politics tends to think in terms of individual rights, but in the case of ethnic minorities this is an absurd concept, as no one wants to speak their native tongue alone, Zoltán Kántor, director of the Institute for National Policy told Magyar Hírlap.

Kántor said that despite opinions to the contrary, Hungary is justifiably taking a more active stance in offering both political and financial support to the ethnic minorities living in neighboring countries (Croatia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine).

Collective autonomy for these Hungarian minorities is by no means against the host states, he said and questioning a minority’s loyalty to the countries they are citizens of makes little sense. Western European examples also indicate that ethnic minorities stand a better chance for survival if granted collective rights. But this hinges on whether any given country actually recognizes collective minority rights as such. This is ultimately a matter of survival. It is interesting that European thinking regards the survival instinct of the majority as legitimate and natural but seems surprised that a minority has similar ambitions.

But this collective autonomy cannot be achieved against the majority of the country in question, only through cooperation. Protecting already existing rights is also important, and that is why Hungary had to accept the conflict with Ukraine as there was nowhere to back off.

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