Hungarians living in Romania are an asset to Romanian society through their active public participation, rich cultural heritage, traditions, cooperation and respect for the majority and their commitment to the European values of freedom and democracy, Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă said on Wednesday, marking Hungary’s national holiday. In a message to ethnic Hungarians on the anniversary of the 1848-49 revolution and freedom fight, Ciucă said the holiday is an opportunity to “greet Hungarians living in Romania and to highlight their contribution to the country’s development and modernisation.” The Hungarian minority helped the significant steps Romania has taken “towards building a democratic and inclusive society,” he said. Mature, democratic, European societies are marked by their support of national minorities’ culture and identity, he said. “Romania needs the creative energy, ideas and inspiration of all its citizens, regardless of ethnic, linguistic and religious origins,” he said.
Hunor Kelemen, the head of the ethnic Hungarian RMDSZ party, said in a statement that Transylvania Hungarians “never accepted oppression and worked on cooperation with the Romanian majority, building a future where there is a place for all ethnicities.” The revolutionaries’ call for peace, freedom and cooperation are still valid and must be fought for, he said. “What else could we wish for but peace, in the shadow of a war on our doorstep. We have stood for the same thing since the start of the war: that no country has the right to endanger another’s existence…”, he said.