About the DUHR position
The DUHR Leader, Marko Bela, called a press conference on the 18th of February 2008 to explain the position of the Union regarding Kosovo.The DUHR Leader, Marko Bela, called a press conference on the 18th of February 2008 to explain the position of the Union regarding Kosovo. Of all the political formations in Romania, DUHR (the Democrat Union of the Hungarians in Romania) has to be approached very carefully as far as the Kosovo issue is concerned. Any reaction that doesn’t take care of all the aspects and of the context risks being dangerous for our national interest. Because of at least two reasons:
1) DUHR is the national and international representative of the Hungarian minority, the most numerous and complicated minority in Romania. Before and after proclaiming the independence, the world press launched the thesis of the danger caused by the Kosovo precedent. This is the context that turned the attention of the press towards the states with powerful and consistent minorities. Our position regarding Kosovo drew the attention of worldwide press. Therefore they gave an extraordinary attention to the position of DUHR, the organization that represents the interests of the Hungarian minorities.
2) DUHR is part of the Government coalition. The Government had a firm position against the independence of Kosovo. The DUHR position got very important from the Government survival point of view. At first sight, Marko Bela’s statement seems quite concerning. The DUHR leader stated: “Our opinion is that Romania should agree with the independence of Kosovo”. This can easily be interpreted as a major political gesture. However, this was just an opinion. Moreover, it has been reasoned with the uniqueness of the Kosovo situation. A thorough analysis of the text reveals the fact that the statement is a simple electoral maneuver. It is a move that DUHR needed for the upcoming electoral campaign. From this point of view, we have to emphasize the error of Mr. President, who encouraged the Hungarian radicals in their dispute against DUHR. After almost ten years of presence in the Government, DUHR has started to behave in the Romanian way. This might be bad news for their radical competitors. From our Romanian perspective, this can only mean good news. The appearance and the ascension of the Hungarian Civic Party as a serious electoral competitor for DUHR forced the Union to radicalize the speech regarding the minorities.
Several parties hurried to say the statement of Marko Bela should result in DUHR quitting the Government coalition. Such a reaction is wrong. There are more reasons for that:
1) DUHR didn’t threaten to leave the coalition if Romania didn’t agree with the Kosovo independence. Their leader expressed an opinion. The ones who know how to understand relations know this was a strictly electoral statement that was necessary in order not to lose ground in the competition against the Hungarian Civic Party.
2) DUHR didn’t make any unusual requests as far as the minorities’ rights are concerned. Marko Bela’s reprehensions regarding the Law of the minorities that is still in the Parliament or the uninominal vote that would bring great disadvantages for the Hungarian minority aren’t a new thing.
3) The DUHR leaders simply voted against the Parliament’s Statement.
The meeting at Cotroceni didn’t bring anything out of the ordinary. They didn’t make any other statement. Moreover they avoided saying anything else. It is true that DUHR is famous for making statements that only appeared harmless for the Romanians. For the moment, the Romanian parties have to at least pretend that DUHR only expressed an opinion. As far as DUHR doesn’t show that this opinion is more than an electoral maneuver, it would be a mistake to ask for the departure of DUHR from the Government coalition. Maybe because this would draw the attention of the press on Romania as a country in political crisis due to the Pristina moment. Even so, the insistence of the politicians and of the authorities on the Kosovo precedent is quite risky.
• Translated by Sorin Bălan