The policy on Hungarian communities abroad unites all Hungarians living in the Carpathian Basin and the diaspora, Katalin Szili, the prime ministerial commissioner for Carpathian Basin autonomy affairs, said in Washington, DC on Thursday. Meeting representatives of around fifteen local Hungarian organisations at the Hungarian embassy, Szili noted the government has declared 2024 the year of national cooperation in light of the fact that policies for Hungarian communities abroad were launched a decade and a half ago. Szili cited the National Virtual Space initiative, through which Hungarians living anywhere in the world will be able to follow the broadcasts of Hungary’s public media, as an example of how policies were been “fine-tuned”.
Szili briefed representatives of the Hungarian organisations about the situation of Hungarian communities in the Carpathian Basin, including demographic changes, noting that the demographic composition of Transcarpathia was undergoing a transformation as a consequence of the Ukrainian population fleeing to Transcarpathia from eastern Ukraine due to the war.
Szili said the Hungarian government has spent 1,300 billion forints since 2010 on investments in 5,500 cultural and education institutions in the framework of policies for Hungarian communities abroad. Ildikó Pataki, the regional president for North America of the Diaspora Council, elected last November, introduced herself and spoke about her plans to involve young people in the activities of the Hungarian diaspora. During her two-day visit to Washington, DC, Szili attended the National Prayer Breakfast, where she met members of Congress, Republican House Representatives and Senators and discussed issues of identity of values, as well as possibilities for peace in Ukraine.