Fiere Szeklers, Beste Deelnemers,
Proud Szeklers, Dear Participants,
As a representative of the European Political Party, the European Free Alliance, I am very proud to speak here once more.
The European Free Alliance, is a European political party with 45 members from all around Europe. During its 35 years of history it has fought for the recognition of minorities and the respect of their Fundamental Rights, more autonomy for regions based on the decentralization of states and the principle of self-determination.
We support the European integration, but we want another and better Europe built by its peoples and regions and not by capitals.
Today we have a double celebration, from one side, we celebrate the sacrifice of three Szekler Martyrs who gave their life for freedom and self-determination 162 years ago. But, we also celebrate the “”generosity”” of the government to let us gather and celebrate this day.
The Romanian government must respect the rights of the minorities and take into consideration its demands in order to guarantee the freedom, equality and prosperity of all its peoples.
There cannot be a fair development if all decisions are taken from Bucharest or Brussels. There cannot be equality if the most fundamental rights of peoples are breached by the new nomenklatura in power. There cannot be freedom if Bucharest sees the Szeklers as a threat which it must eliminate by forced assimilation.
The Romanian government has attacked for a long time the unity and strong identity of the Szeklers. We in the EFA have repeatedly denounced before the EU institutions the attacks on the Szekler people.
Measures like the administrative reorganization of the State, the constant criminalization of Szekler autonomy aspirations and the persecution of its symbols are unacceptable in the EU in 2016. And all this happens during President Iohannis term, he, a member of a minority who should be more sensible for these issues.
What has changed for you since his electoral victory? I ask you, is there any improvement?
Just a few days after President Iohannis decided to strip Tokes Laszlo of the Star of Romania order, I must say I agree with the Bishop. I agree that Hungary should play a role in empowering the Hungarian community in Romania. So I guess it`s quite fortunate that I myself was not decorated with the Star of Romania order, because then there is nothing Iohannis can deprive me from.
Bucharest cannot ignore the fair demands of the Szekler community. All EU treaties speak about the respect of fundamental rights and minority rights, subsidiarity and bringing decisions closer to citizens and economic development which is equally distributed over the territory.
Autonomy, is not just a shallow slogan. Autonomy means more democracy, bringing decisions closer to the citizens, means the respect of the culture and identity of peoples and the capacity for them to take decisions on the development of their regions.
This year Romania celebrates the 25 anniversary of its Constitution, 25 years in which Romania has become a part of the EU and NATO. But this anniversary also marks the incapacity of the Bucharest elites to build a proper European democracy and a fair development model.
The Szekler people have little to celebrate. Ecomonic data shows, that since the EU accession of the country the GDP per capita growth of Brassó County was eleven times higher than neighbouring Kovászna county, despite the fact that these administrative units are included in the same EU Development Region. The economic backlog of the Szekler regions is growing faster than ever.
These 25 years of flawed democracy, continuous fundamental rights violations, and economic discrimination have been a disappointment for those who truly believe in democracy.
Bucharest should acknowledge and cherish the diversity that lives within the Romanian borders. Romanian leaders must understand that democracy means taking into account minorities positions and not only rule for the majority.
The EFA and the EFA parties have always been in the vanguard of the defence of democracy, decentralization and Human Rights. One third of our member parties are now part of 13 national and regional governments, from Scotland to Corsica or the Canary Islands.
We are a force of change in the EU
and we want to keep on working with the Szeklers to make a change in Romania
Autonómiát Székelyföldnek, Szabadságot a Székely Népnek!
Autonomy for Szeklerland, Freedom for the Szekler people!