The Hungarian government allocated 1 billion 89 million forints (EUR 3.3m) this year to support ongoing and new projects of ethnic Hungarians in Vojvodina, Serbia, a government official said at the summer university in Băile Tușnad (Tusnádfürdő), in central Romania. Next year, the region will receive 325 million forints, and in 2021, 290 million, Árpád János Potápi, the state secretary for policies for Hungarians abroad, said.
Potápi said that around the millennium, Serbia had been in a “very difficult economic, political and social situation”, to the extent that it threatened the ethnic Hungarian community’s very existence. They persevered, however, and found the way to progress in cohesion, he said. Vojvodina Hungarians have developed hugely in the past twenty years, Potápi said, and greatly contributed to Serbia and Hungary’s steps to a historic reconciliation.
István Pásztor, head of the Association of Vojvodina Hungarians (VMSZ), said that the Hungarian funds will go towards renovating historical buildings in Vojvodina and creating community space for Hungarians. Vojvodina Hungarians preserve their identity but are also committed to Serbia’s prosperity, Pásztor said. The Hungarian government’s support means that “for the first time in the past century, it is an advantage to be Hungarian in Serbia”, he said. Building the ties between Serbia and Hungary was a “tightrope act”, Pásztor said. By now, they are each other’s best neighbours, which benefits Vojvodina Hungarians hugely, he said.