Orbán takes EU campaign to neighboring Romania

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was garnering the support of ethnic Hungarians in Romania on Monday, reiterating that Hungary supports Romanian President Klaus Iohannis' bid for NATO secretary-general as well

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in Nagyszalonta (Salonta, Romania) on June 3, 2024. (RMDSZ)
By Dénes Albert
3 Min Read

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has extended his party’s EU campaign to neighboring Romania to appeal to the country’s sizeable ethnic Hungarian minority, which constitutes some 1 million Hungarian citizens.

“For the entire Hungarian nation, it is almost a matter of life or death not to fail in an election where the task is to get over the 5 percent threshold and have an international voice,” Orbán said in a speech in Nagyszalonta, Bihar County, on Monday afternoon.

“If there is finally a place where the Hungarian cause can be represented and we are not able to send a representative, that is a problem, it is a sign of weakness. And our opponents will not hesitate to take advantage of that,” he added.

The Hungarian leader recalled the situation in Slovakia where, after the election failures of the Hungarian representation, Slovak parties announced their intention to win the Hungarian votes. Orbán said it was not worth asking whether ethnic voting had a future.

“As long as there is an ethnic basis, there is a future,” he said. “For a full Hungarian world — in addition to educational and ecclesiastical institutions — political representation is needed.”

The Democratic Alliance of Hungarians, the main political representation of ethnic Hungarians in Romania, currently has two MEPs in the European Parliament out of Romania’s 32 representatives. Both of them are members of the European People’s Party group.

Orbán also stressed the importance of a strong Hungary. Without the motherland, he said, being a minority would be unbearable. “Let us show that we are a true nation.”

In his speech, he reiterated the Hungarian government’s support for the candidacy of President Klaus Iohannis for the post of NATO Secretary General and for Romania’s full accession to Schengen.

Last Saturday, at a peace march attended by hundreds of thousands of Hungarians from within the country and neighboring countries, Orbán claimed that his administration was “the only pro-peace government in the EU. The Vatican is also on the side of peace, but it represents a kingdom that is not of this world – and in an apostate Europe, that alone will not be enough to put the brakes on the speeding pro-war train.”

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