Strategic plan for massive Hungarian involvement in Transylvania aids ethnic Hungarians in Romania. So far, Budapest claimed financial assistance was non-discriminatory for Romanians and Hungarians
A strategy of economic development put together by the Hungarian government and members of the main political group of ethnic Hungarians in Romania, a document known as the Kos Karoly plan, shows clearly that the actions of the Hungarian authorities include direct aid to ethnic Hungarians here.
„The present document is the motivation of the Hungarian government’s decision, which, through the present plan, creates a programme to support the economic revival for the Hungarian citizens who have a Romanian home,” says the document, which is available in English here
So far, the government in Budapest and the main political group of ethnic Hungarians in Romania, the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR), have constantly claimed the grant program was not discriminating between members of various ethnic groups.
The Kos Karoly plan is based theoretically on the Hungarian government program to support farmers in Transylvania. This is a program which the Viktor Orban government officially supports with tens of millions of euro. The money is targeted to farmers who submit projects for subsidised support in the Hungarian language.
Hungarian Foreign minister Péter Szijjártó announced in September 2019 that his government would extend the so-called Transylvanian economic development program, which had been focused on ethnic Szeklers-dominated counties in central Romania, to most of the Western parts of Romania.
Since then, new rounds of funding reached Transylvania and, according to investigative portal Atlatszo, the beneficiaries are found among oligarchs close to PM Viktor Orban.
The Kos Karoly plan says that explicitly: „With a view to intensifying and emphasising relations between Hungarian communities and economic actors with the motherland, closer interconnection of trade relations between local and Hungarian economic actors.”
The Kos Karoly plan, put up with the contribution of UDMR members, uses names of historical regions which are rejected by Romanian authorities.
The Hungarian government project is managed in Romania by the Hungary-based Pro Economica foundation, run by Monika Kozma, a member of UDMR. It channels millions of euros to farmers in Transylania. Only 8-10% of beneficiaries are Romanians, as the large majority are ethnic Hungarians.
Among the Romanians who receive funding from Budapest one can find Vasile Gliga, the head of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) branch in the ethnic Hungarian-dominated country of Mures, as G4Media.ro reported in 2018.
Asked about her contribution to the creation of the Kos Karoly plan, Anna Horvath, UDMR vice-president and one of the experts who are listed as co-writers of the plan, told G4Media.ro that „considering I have been asked to contribute to the document as an expert on certain sub-chapters only, I would recommend you contact the Pro Economica Foundation”.
Monika Kozma, the head f the Pro Economica Foundation, refused to discuss the Kos Karoly plan and told G4Media.ro that „We do not know about the website and the content of the website you have mentioned. I was never contacted by wekerle.org and the original document translated in English does not belong to us.”
Background. Romanian Ambassador to Budapest Marius Lazurca told Hungarian deputy-PM Zsolt Semjen publicly in November 2019 that the funding program aimed at Transylvania farmers had not been discussed with the Romanian government was was not agreed by Romania, calling for it to be run with the involvement of Romanian auhtorities.
At the time, Monika Kozma reached harshly, claiming Lazurca’s statements were not true. The Romanian Foreign Ministry said in October 2019 there was no bilateral deal between the two countries and that Romania did not agreed with the program of investments in Transylvania farming.
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