On 7 April 2020, we addressed a written request to the European Commission to extend the deadline on the collection of signatures for the citizens' initiative for the protection of national regions. In this request, we asked for a six month extension of the deadline, so that this six-month period begins when the restrictive measures taken due to the pandemic in most Member States are lifted.
The Citizens' Initiative for National Regions aims to support peoples, nations, countries, national communities that are not currently recognized by the European Union. The initiative is not about protecting minorities! Many people do not understand why the Flemish and Flanders, did not support the Minority SafePack citizens' initiative. It is because it was obvious and natural to them that they are not a minority, but a people, a nation, a country. The Scots, the Catalans, the Basques, and we, the Szeklers, are all on the same opinion. We are the majority in our homeland, and we have kept that majority for hundreds of years, even under foreign rule.
The celebretion of the Szèkely (Sekler) Homeland.
On the 18th of November 2018, on the occasion of the centenary of the Sekler National Council that was founded in 1918, the main square of Sepsiszentgyörgy was filled with people who wished to stand up for the autonomy of Sekler land in person. At the grand centenarian meeting of the Sekler National Council, the organisers ‘ intention has been realised as the Sekler peoples along with the Transylvanian Hungarian community that stands in solidarity with them had this united rally when we remembered the struggles of the last hundred years, the founders of the Sekler National Council, the Sekler Division and the Hungarian autnomous province that was terminated 50 years ago. We remembered the grievance of the community but also the possibilities of action to be taken. The speakers: Làszló Tōkès, Europen Parliament Representative, Chairman of the Transylvanian Hungarian National Council, Zsolt Szilàgyi, Chairman of the Transylvanian Hungarian People’s Society, Jànos Mezei, Chairman of the Hungarian Civil Society, Sabin Gherman, Transylvanist activist and Balàzs Izsàk, Chairman of the Sekler National Council- were recalling the morale of the last hundred years- all emphasised that Romania will only become a lawful state and can only start developing if it respects the country’s regional and ethnic variegation and if it plans it’s future building upon the particular values of the historical regions instead of it’s assimilationist politics of the past hundred years. This even was also the celebration of the Sekler Homeland when the community has repeatedly enunciated it’s commitment to the autonomy of Sekler land. The community confirmed it’s will to form the future of the Sekler community on it’s own homeland by peaceful and democratic means within the frame of the Romanian state with the grant of the institutional guarantee of autonomy by law. Sending a definite message to Bucharest and to the world that the Seklers insist on their claim for autonomy!
Press Relations of the Sekler National Council, 18th November 2018, Sepsiszentgyörgy
Attila Dabis Ph.D., Foreign Affairs Commissioner of the Szekler National Council has been barred from entering Romania for three years, due to unspecified national security reasons. This measure is a violation of the right of citizens of the European Union to freedom of movement, it is completely unfounded, illegal, unconstitutional and in violation of fundamental human rights.
On 09 March 2018, I attempted to cross the Hungarian-Romanian border at the Ártánd-Bors border check point at 12:44 CET, together with a Swiss-Hungarian friend. After checking our ID cards, the Romanian border guard asked us to pull over to a nearby administration facility, where he informed me that I was barred from entering Romania.
Esteemed Madam Minister
Over the course of the past few years, I couldn’t help but notice that every time I cross Romania’s border, I am given special attention by the Romanian Border Police. On more than one occasion, I was forced to park my car, and wait nearly an hour by orders of the Border Police; sometimes the justification was computer failure, sometimes some other, equally untrue excuse. It didn’t take me long to discover, by studying the laws on border crossing in Romania, that I’m what is referred to as a „registered person” (persoana cu consemn). Such people are treated based on special legal dispositions, should they cross the border.
The peace process ending the First World War has cut off Szeklerland from Hungary, placing it under the jurisdiction of a foreign country, Romania. At the same time, however, the Szekler peoples, together with Transylvanian Saxons, gained recognition as subjects of international law.
We are preparing for the Day of Szekler Freedom, in a year in which we commemorate the centenary of the Szekler National Council. Just as Paál Árpád’s plan for a Szekler Republic becomes a century old, so will the Szekler self-determination movement.
The Szekler National Council has been struggling for the autonomy of Szeklerland by means of law and democracy for over one and a half decade now. The foundation of this struggle is a bill, which would guarantee the self-governance of the region. We submitted this bill to the parliament of Romania twice, which was rejected both times. The Szekler National Council made numerous steps both domestically, as well as internationally, to draw attention to the will of our community that has Hungarian national identity, and lives in the centre of Romania, on a land spanning through 13.500 km2. The Szekler National Council declared the last Sunday of October to be the Day of Szekler Autonomy. On this day, inhabitants of Szekler cities and villages come together to pray for autonomy, and light watch fires in the evening, reasserting their protest against all aspiration aimed towards the assimilation of Szeklerland, and reaffirming their demand for self determination within the state of Romania. This year, on 29 October, the following declaration was read out on these events:
Dear Mr. President!
Catalonia's aspirations for independence have been in the public's mind for weeks. The response to the independence referendum was police brutality, the likes of which was rarely seen in 21st century Europe. The Szekler National Council, through the fate of the Szekler peoples, is well aware of the collective experience of oppressed communities, and expresses its deepest sympathy and solidarity with their Catalan friends.
On Friday, 8 September 2017, representatives of the legal service of the European Commission met with the organizers of the citizens’ initiative on national regions in Brussels. A lawsuit before the Court of Justice of the European Union has been underway on the subject for four years now, since the Commission rejected the registration of the initiative, due to alleged lack of EU competences.
Dear Mr. President!
On November 2014 the Szekler people voted in large numbers for you, contributing to your electoral victory. They did so bearing in mind that as a Transylvanian Saxon you are familiar with both the problems of the national communities living in Romania, as well as the tolerant political heritage of Transylvania. They hoped that under your presidency the way how the Romanian authorities relate to Szeklerland, its specific problems and the Szekler people will change.
In May 2017, the lawsuit initiated by Balázs Izsák, president of the Szekler National Council against the Anti Discrimination Council, former president Traian Băsescu, former Prime Minister Victor Viorel Ponta, George Crin Laurențiu Antonescu as well as Liviu Nicolae Dragnea, has been concluded. The Bucharest Court of Appeal has dismissed the action brought before them by the president of the Szekler National Council.
We welcome the statement of Hungary’s Deputy Prime Minister, Zsolt Semlyén from the last congress of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania: “Should the Hungarians of Transylvania accept that they are not entitled to autonomy, they would be accepting that they are second class citizens of the European Union”. We are convinced that this has to be the basic tone of Transylvanian Hungarian politics in the upcoming period, and that it should also be the key to the much desired truce between Hungarians and Romanians. We also welcome promises on the improvement of relations between Romania and Hungary. The Szekler National Council always believed that good neighbourly relationship based on mutual trust between the two countries is essential to realize Szeklerland’s autonomy and to guarantee the rights of the Hungarian community of Romania.
The Szekler National Council welcomes the successful registration of the “Minority Safepack - one million signatures for diversity in Europe” citizens’ initiative, after a lengthy litigation. With this decision, the European Commission finally acknowledges that national minorities cannot be excluded from the advantages provided by the European Union.
The Szekler National Council considers the initiative to be of use for the cause of Szekler autonomy aspirations, and as such, offers to actively assist in gathering signatures among its sympathizers.
Esteemed General Prosecutor,
The Szekler National Council finds it unacceptable and protests against the way you and the organisation you lead has portrayed us in the indictment against Beke István Attila and Szőcs Zoltán. We also protest against the way you have criminalised the lawful autonomy aspirations of the Szekler peoples and the way you seek to turn the public opinion against the Hungarian community of Romania.
Given that the indictment formulated against Beke István Attila and Szőcs Zoltán by the Romanian investigative authorities contains many findings that have nothing to do with the facts described in the indictment, nor with the possible crimes attributed to the suspects by the authorities, nor with the presented evidence, the Standing Committee of the Szekler National Council has examined the indictment, paying particular attention to fragments referring to the Szekler National Council, the Szekler autonomy movement, Hungary and the Hungarian people as a whole. As a starting point, the Standing Committee made it clear that they condemn all acts of violence or threats of violence, and reaffirmed, that they desire to achieve Szeklerland’s autonomy following the path of democracy, through constitutional and democratic means, as they have been doing for over ten years now. The Standing Committee also stated the following:
The Szekler flag is the symbol of Szeklerland and the Szekler peoples.
Located in the centre of Romania, spreading across 13.500 square kilometres, Szeklerland is a region that has been inhabited by the Szeklers, a peoples with Hungarian national identity, for over a thousand years. Throughout the past centuries, living on the eastern borders of western Christianity, they have created an independent culture and contributed to universal culture through many exceptional individuals. Their bright blue flag with a golden stripe bears ancient symbols, and in 2009, the Congress of Szekler Self Governments declared it the flag of Szeklerland.
We are satisfied anfd greatful to receive your bureau’s response to our statement, adopted by the protesters at Marosvásárhely on March 10 of this year – the day of Szekler liberty. We are satisfied with, and graceful for your readiness for dialogue, the fact that you substantially addressed the majority of the issues we brought up, that you find the protection of Romania’s cultural diversity necessary, that you expressed intent for Romania to respect its commitments, and the effort to “recognize higher level standards for the protection of the rights of persons belonging to minorities”.
On March 10, 2016 a large-scale, peaceful demonstration took place in Marosvásárhely. Fifteen thousand people took to the streets, in the historic capital of Szeklerland, the region inhabited mostly by the Szeklers, people with Hungarian self identity, demanding autonomy and protesting Romania’s planned administrative reform that would encroach upon the rights of the local Hungarian population. Even during the protest, the gendarmerie has, unlawfully and without justification, confiscated flags and signs with slogans from the protesters. The event, that was announced in advance and registered in the mayoral office, has taken place without incident, in accordance with prior notifications. Despite all this, participants indentified by the secret service on photographs and film footage, have been fined, some for “organizing an unannounced, unregistered or banned event”, others for “disturbing the peace”.
Romania continues with the intimidation tactics against its Hungarian minority in Szeklerland.
Dear Mr. President of the Szekler National Council, Izsák Balázs, Dear authorities of Szeklerland, Dear friends all.
Fiere Szeklers, Beste Deelnemers,
Proud Szeklers, Dear Participants,
Today, on the 10th of March 2016, we the Szeklers gathered at the memorial of the Szekler martyrs at Marosvásárhely, walking the path of justice and democracy, consistently proclaim our will: we require Szeklerland’s territorial autonomy! We do this in the company of the representatives of Hungarian communities gathered here from all of Transylvania to support us, as well as people all over the world, who understood the message of the day of Szekler liberty: to us, this isn’t just a day to remember our martyrs, our historical role-models, nut the day when together, we demand our rights, which can only take form in the spirit of national self-determination.
The Szekler National Council calls all Hungarian communities of the world to a solidarity demonstration on March 10, 2016, the Day of Szekler Freedom. This year too, we ask them to gather in front of the Romanian embassies, preferably at the same time with the demonstration at Marosvásárhely, to express their support of Szeklerland’s demand for autonomy and protest against the abuses committed by the Romanian authorities.
On March 10 2016, we shall be counted both literally and figuratively. We will be counted by the authorities, official reports will state how many of us were gathered at the Postarét at Marosvásárhely at 4 pm, how many of us crossed the central square and how many of us participated in the protest in front of the prefecture, the old town hall.
Our loyalty to our traditions and our goals will be weighed, as our collective wisdom and dignity, as will the moral strength that has been confronting the Romanian authorities, as well as the entire world, with the will of the Szeklers: territorial autonomy for their homeland, Szeklerland. Through constitutional means, without violence, but with unbreakable determination, we demand freedom: self-governance, within the state.
Hungarian political and social organizations in Transylvania express their solidarity with the Szekler National Council in a joint statement in the trial phase of case No. 529/13 Izsák and Dabis vs European Commission held on 15 December in Luxembourg in connection with the Commision’s rejection of the European Civil Initiative “Cohesion policy for the equality of the regions and the preservation of regional cultures”.
The Bank Account Number of Szekler National Council
OTP BANK – Târgu Mureş/Marosvásárhely
LEJ: RO76 OTPV 3200 0036 0774 RO01
EUR: RO33 OTPV 3200 0036 0774 EU01
USD: RO90 OTPV 3200 0036 0774 US01
HUF: RO80 OTPV 3200 0036 0774 HU01