Romania blocks Hungarian development projects in Transylvania

Prime MInister Viktor Orbán speaks in Transylvania on JUly 23, 2022. (Tamás Kaszás/Index)
By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

The Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is pursuing a deliberate policy of not supporting Hungarian-funded development in Transylvania, with the Romanian government now blocking Hungarian aid and other projects in the area. At the heart of the issue is Romania’s objection to Hungary offering financial support to the Transylvania area, which contains a large population of ethnic Hungarians.

Mónika Kozma, head of the Pro Economica Foundation, said in February that the Hungarian government planned to launch a rural development tender for local farmers in the region. However, according to Hungarian-language Transylvanian news portal Transtelex, the Romanian foreign ministry is of the opinion that there is no bilateral agreement between Bucharest and Budapest for the Hungarian state to “implement financing programs on Romanian territory.”

“In the absence of such an agreement, there is no consent from the Romanian side for the Hungarian side to run such programs in Romania,” the Romanian Foreign Ministry announced in a statement.

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The head of the foundation indicated that the implementation of the program in the western Romanian Partium region requires an agreement between the two governments, which is currently underway, according to Hungarian news and opinion portal Mandiner.

G4Media reported that the negotiations on the continuation of the Transylvanian economic development program started under the previous government in Bucharest, which imposed different conditions for Hungarian economic investments in Transylvania.

“The Hungarian side can therefore launch the new tender if the long-awaited agreement with Romania can be finalized,” Kozma said.

Since Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s speech in Transylvania last summer, development projects financed by the Hungarian state in Transylvania have been a constant theme in the Romanian press. The Hungarian state has been able to support Hungarian communities in Transylvania to the tune of billions of euros over the past 10 years.

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