Romania’s top court bans Hungarian-language Catholic school

The school, built with Hungarian aid, is a thorn for the Romanian majority

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Origo
Marosvásárhely Catholic school. (MTI/Gergely Boda)

The Romanian Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that the Roman Catholic School in Marosvásárhely, central Transylvania is functioning under an unconstitutional license, thereby effectively ordering it to be closed.

The school was re-established in 2018 with financial support from Hungary, and at the time, it received approval from the Romanian Parliament, followed by a Romanian Ministry of Education decree granting it a license.

However, the same year, two Romanian nationalist parties contested the license in court, saying that the existence of a school exclusively teaching in a minority language — in this case, Hungarian — was unconstitutional.

Legal proceedings dragged on for years, until the Supreme Court finally made its ruling on Wednesday, effectively banning the school.

Hunor Kelemen, the president of RMDSZ, the main political party of the 1.5 million Hungarian minority in Romania — and incidentally also deputy prime minister since 2020 — said that despite the Supreme Court decision, the school will not close its doors.

“We don’t know the rationale (of the decision) yet, but we already know what the next step is,” Kelemen said in a Facebook post. “As soon as the reasoning of the Supreme Court appears, the school will be established by a government decision or another ministerial decree. It doesn’t matter who is bothered by its existence, this school is needed by the local community, this school exists and will exist,” he added.

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