One year after the Great March of the Szeklers, we are pleased to note that the event still has a decisive impact on public life, can open new perspectives for dialog and its international effects are no less noteworthy. The re-appearance of the Project on Ethnic Relations in Romania is a consequence of this, and this needs to be taken into account, at least during the started negotiations.
The starting point should be the manifesto of the Great March of the Szeklers, the implementation of the objectives set out therein need to be placed at the center of these negotiations. We would like to remind everyone that the Szeklers gathered between Bretcu/Bereck and Chichis/Kökös demanded “the prevalence of European norms within Romania, and to experience their self-determination through the autonomy of Szeklerland, similarly to other autonomous communities of Europe.” At the same time, they made it clear that “Self-governance within the state means exercising power on a regional level, through a democratically elected decision-making body which possesses widespread autonomy in the democratic implementation of its competences, and at the same time disposes over the tools necessary for the fulfillment of its tasks.” With this aim, we fully agree with Tamás Sándor, chairman of the council of Covasna County, that a new chapter in the negotiations with the representatives of the Romanian majority needs to be opened, taking into account Szeklerland’s request for self-determination.
We find it important to point out that a negotiation backed by the support and confidence of the Szeklers and the reaching of an acceptable long term agreement has two major prerequisites:
1. The lessons learned from the negotiations in Neptun, in 1993, and the subsequent changes, need to be taken into account. Consequently, the participants of the negotiations must have the full confidence and authorization of the Transylvanian Hungarian and in particular, the Szekler community. Also, the organizations that have participated in the Great March of the Szeklers must all participate in the negotiations, thus continuing the tradition of unified action, that started between Bretcu/Bereck and Chichis/Kökös.
2. Most important among the changes is the treaty between Hungary and Romania, on mutual understanding, cooperation and good neighborly relations, signed on September the 16th 1996. The treaty embedded the status of the Romanian minority in Hungary and the Hungarian minority in Romania in a whole new legal relation, by turning the protection of the ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identities of these communities into a matter of interstate cooperation.
Taking this into account, and in accordance with the resolution of the Szekler National Council, adopted on the 19th of November, 2010, which sets out the need that “Hungary should fulfill the role of the caring state in respect of Szeklerland and the Szekler people and that Szeklerland should enjoy an accentuated position in Hungary’s policies toward Hungarians living outside the borders of Hungary” we request the invitation of the representatives of Hungary to these negotiations.
We declare that the Szeklers are interested in the complete fulfillment of all points contained in the Treaty between Hungary and Romania, and we find unacceptable the status of the Hungarian community in Romania to be discussed in the absence of one of the concerned parties, Hungary.
If the above stated conditions are met, and the representatives of the Hungarian community form Romania (including the Szeklers), the Hungarian and Romanian governments in a trilateral negotiation can come to an agreement on the status of an autonomous Szeklerland and the practical implementation of the three-leveled autonomy concept unanimously supported by our community and included in the political program of the DAHR since 1993, then Romania and Hungary will become Europe’s most reliable region of peace and stability. If the above named American civil organization or the USA itself is willing to assume a mediating role in this process, then we will be grateful for that.
President of the Szekler National Council
Tg-Mures/Marosvásárhely, the 10th of October, 2014