Hungarians in Slovakia are proud citizens, reject autonomy

Posted by Dániel Antal on 30/09/08

Contrary to public belief in Slovakia and Hungary, the members of the Hungarian minority in Slovakia are proud citizens of their country. A survey conducted within the European Values Survey found that 71% of the ethnic Hungarians are ‘proud’ to be citizens of Slovakia. Members of the majority Slovakians are 87% proud of their newish republic. It looks that the people are fed up with ethnic rivalry within their country.

Nationalists have been long accusing the native Hungarian minority to be more loyal to Hungary than Slovakia, and the fear of Hungarian secession from Southern Slovakia can always mobilize a part of the majority electorate. On the other hand, ethnic Hungarian politicians had a very stable voter base for their parliamentary party, which was supposed to be the warranty of the minority. It looks that much of the tension has settled down. The Hungarian party has been one of the most stable parties in Slovakian politics, and it had spent two parliamentary cycles in government, holding the majority within Slovakia. The involvement of Hungarians in Slovakian politics, plus the freedoms brought by both countries accession to the EU seem to have boosted their citizen loyalty to their country, too.

Slovakia had been a part of the Hungarian Kingdom until 1919 and Slovakians had to fight for their rights against in former Hungary. Later, when they had the upper hands, the Hungarians lost many things that they took granted: schools and churches, and the freedom to travel to and from Hungary. During the Communist years travelling was restricted not only between East and West, but also within the East bloc, so in the new democracies the life of minorities changed significantly. In the new Slovakian Republic, that seceeded from Czechoslovakia in 1993, there were fears that the Hungarians will try to further seceed and join Hungary. The well-politicized Hungarian minority has always demanded an autonomy similar to the German-speaking South-Tirol in Italy.

The results are shocking for politicians interested in ethnic rivalry, especially in the context of another recent poll conducted among the members of the Hungarian minority, which found that 90% of the Hungarian voters reject their party’s demand for autonomy. The concept of autonomy is rather vague in their minds: although they would demand a say in cultural and educations issues, which they would like to keep in their linguistic community, they reject the ‘autonomy plan’ of their politicians, because it upsets the majority. It looks that they still have unsettled demand but also prefer conformity with the majority. Add the freedom to travel, work or study in Hungary, and you can make a claim that the EU works fine for a multi-ethnic region. And probably a few nationalist politicians on both sides will have took look for a new job, too.

Links: Mire a büszke a szlovákiai magyar; Tíz százalék támogatná az autonómiát. Hat tip: Párkányer blog.

3 Responses to Hungarians in Slovakia are proud citizens, reject autonomy »»

  1. Comment by Margarete | 2008/10/01 at 20:57:29

    Daniel, thanks for posting this. The statistics are interesting and paint a different picture than what many Slovaks would expect.

  2. Comment by Antal Dániel | 2008/10/02 at 08:55:45

    It would be great if this started a debate. I think the Slovakian majority could very easily undermine Hungarian nationalists with concessions in church and schooling issues which hardly bother their nation state sovereignty. (By the way, your webpage is great!)

  3. Comment by Matt | 2010/02/12 at 07:46:18

    I see this posted 2 years ago… I am a Slovak Citizen. I think such articles in our Slovak newspapers would possibly decrease the tension between Slovaks and Slovak Hungarians. The problem is that if the media permanently bombards the public with the “autonomy agenda” news and in the end causing Slovaks to believe that all hungarians are pro-autonomy opposing to the offical results that most are against autonomy… From my own experience, the biggest nationalists (hungarian, slovak, swiss, german…) are always from regions of that country with the least diversity…


Leave a Reply »»

*
To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture.
Anti-Spam Image

Central Europe Activ rss

A Central European perspective more.



  •  Subscribe in a reader or via Email

    You can follow or rate this blog on NetworkedBlogs
  • Twitter

  • My Pictures

  • RSS Euractiv.hu

  • RSS Bloggingportal.eu Digest

  • RSS CZ HU PL SK Visegrad Economies Investments

  • Google Page Rank

  • Feeds

  • Meta

  • Blog tags (categories & countries)

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comment

  • RSS EuTrioHu.blogactiv.eu

    • PM Orbán’s personal statement in demography council: the EU’s should not build its future on immigration April 2, 2011
      Orbán Viktor addresses the EU Council Presidency meeting for the first time in Gödöllő, 1 April 2011. The topic is the demography of Europe. Embedded is the video report from [origo]. “Let’s call a spade a spade, our common home , Europe, is trailing behind great civilisations in this race,” Mr Orbán said. He stressed […]
    • Hungarian constitutional draft mistranslated March 24, 2011
      Hungary’s premiere daily paper, Népszabadság claimst that the draft constitution that is sent to invitees for the EPP public hearing on the case on 29 March 2011 is full with translation mistakes and omissions. This is apparently the same draft seen by EurActiv referred to in today’s article (en, fr, hu). According to the daily […]
    • Hungarian Constitution “Written on an iPad” March 4, 2011
      József Szájer, MEP and founding member for Fidesz, the Hungarian governing party that has secured a two-thirds supermajority with 53% of the votes in 2010, boasts that the Hungarian constitution is written on iPad. Actually, on his iPad. Mr Szájer is a member of the European Parliament, and also the leader of the committee that […]
    • Extraordinary EUCO on Northern Africa March 4, 2011
      Hungary has never fully adopted the EMU or the Stability and Growth Pact, so the rotating presidency team’s passive attitude is no surprise with the Competitiveness Pact. The Hungarian Presidency came back on track with the extraordinary EU Council on 11 March on Northern Africa. Yesterday Hungary’s European Affairs state secretary, Ms Győri participated on […]
    • Budapest Gay Pride Disallowed February 15, 2011
      According to the Budapest police, the Saturday afternoon walking process would disturb, among others, Council Presidency meetings. […]

    Advertisement