East

Activists plant a bilingual road sign in southern Slovakia. Photo: ketnyelvu.info

Bilingualism expanded in Slovakia after pressure from Hungarian civil society

A total of 54 train stations in towns across southern Slovakia will have Hungarian signage in a matter of months, after years of pressure and protest from civil society. Slovak law allows for Hungarian signage, including street and place names, wherever the proportion of Hungarians exceeds 20% of the local population. Yet the country’s state railway company (Železnice Slovenskej republiky, […]

by · April 19, 2017 · East
Sapientia's campus in Marosvásárhely.

Attack against CEU may endanger Hungarian universities in Romania

Romania’s former prime minister, Victor Ponta, expressed his enthusiasm for planned legislation in Hungary, which endangers the future of Central European University in Budapest. Mr. Ponta, a Member of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies, indicated that he intends to propose a similar law, in order to restrict the activities of foreign universities on Romanian soil. This may serve as a […]

by · April 2, 2017 · East
Orbán and Kaczinsky in happier days.

Orbán backstabbed Kaczynski

Polak, Węgier, dwa bratanki, i do szabli, i do szklanki – Poles, Hungarians, two brothers, they fight together, they drink wine together. (Polish proverb) There were few relationships between right-wing political parties closer than the alliance of the ruling Polish PiS and Hungarian Fidesz. Party bosses Orbán and Jaroslaw Kaczynski have pledged to wage a “cultural counter-revolution” and reform a […]

by · March 11, 2017 · East
Sevil Shhaideh. Photo: MTI / Balázs Mohai.

Political crisis in Romania

Sevil Shhaideh was going to make history by becoming Romania’s first Muslim and first female prime minister. Ms. Shhaideh was nominated to become prime minister by the Partidul Social Democrat (PSD), the party that decisively won legislative elections earlier this month and by its junior coalition partner, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE). But Romania’s president, Klaus Johannis, refused Ms. Shhaideh’s nomination, without giving […]

by · December 27, 2016 · East
Sebastian Kurz (left) with Péter Szijjártó (right). Photo: MTI.

Hungary passionately defends Turkey in EU, despite human rights violations

Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó is at odds with his Austrian counterpart, Sebastian Kurz, over whether the European Union should suspend all accession negotiations with Turkey, due to troubling human rights violations, especially since July’s failed coup. The Orbán government has been a staunch supporter of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Turkey, and Hungarian foreign policy in general has been pro-expansion […]

by · December 13, 2016 · East
RMDSZ billboard in Nagyvárad (Oradea).

Romania’s elections: Hungarian party beats expectations, while Social Democrats score major victory

Romania’s Social Democratic Party (Partidul Social Democrat, PSD) won in a landslide in Sunday’s legislative elections, garnering 45.44% of the vote–far ahead of the National Liberal Party (Partidul Național Liberal, PNL) at just 20%. The Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (Romániai Magyar Demokrata Szövetség – RMDSZ) came in at fourth place with 6.25% of the vote, sending 16 representatives […]

by · December 12, 2016 · East
Ofir Gross

Ofir Gross, Israeli man brutally murdered in Hungary in April. They thought he was a migrant…

The disturbing story of an Israeli man’s brutal murder in Hungary earlier this year made headlines in the independent Hungarian media, but had little coverage in the international English-language press. Yet the murder appears to have been racially-motivated and this story is linked to the state-led hate campaign against Syrian refugees and migrants. HFP’s György Lázár shares this story with […]

by · December 1, 2016 · East
A sea of Szekler (székely) flags at a protest.

In defence of Transylvania’s Szekler flag – A letter to the editor from the American Hungarian Federation

Mr. György Lázár: Normally we at the American Hungarian Federation would not respond to the kind of posting you made on September 22, “Exploiting the naiveté of Hans Klemm, the US ambassador to Romania,” but we are making an exception in this case since you have gratuitously defamed not only an outstanding career American diplomat but our organization as well. The tactics […]

by · September 28, 2016 · East
Mayor Antal (far left) and US Ambassador Klemm (next to him) are posing with the Szekler Flag.

Exploiting the naiveté of Hans Klemm, the US ambassador to Romania

The U.S. ambassador to Romania, Hans Klemm, recently visited the Romanian town of Sfântu Gheorghe (in Hungarian Sepsiszentgyörgy), which has a majority ethnic-Hungarian population. Mayor Árpád Antal, an ethnic Hungarian himself, asked him to stand behind a flag to make a photo. The flag is the so-called Szekler flag which is controversial in Romania; it is illegal to fly on […]

by · September 22, 2016 · East
Péter Szijjártó, Hungary's Minister of Foreign Affairs, speaking on Saturday in connection to the failed coup in Turkey.

Hungary seeks deeper ties with Erdogan after failed coup in Turkey

Authoritarian Turkish President Recep Erdoğan could have hardly asked for a better coup. Apparently launched by a faction within the military at night (an odd time to launch a putsch in a country where these have, in the past, usually happened in the morning and involved the arrest of political leaders), the coup was put down within about five hours; […]

by · July 16, 2016 · East