Romania announced today it has banned Hungary’s Gabor Vona, leader of the extremist Hungarian party Jobbik, from entering the country. Several other Hungarians will also be banned when a full list of names is issued this week. The decision follows a call by the President of Romania, Traian Basescu, for the Romanian parliament to act after Hungarians participated in a demonstration in Romania on March 10 that called for independence for Székely Land.
This region was once Hungarian territory but became part of Romania in accordance with the 1920 Treaty of Trianon.
The Hungarian Foreign Ministry issued a press release to state news agency MTI saying it will investigate the legality of the bans. The ministry said their legitimacy will be examined both in the context of Romanian law and of European Union fundamental rights and freedoms.
Romanian officials said the Hungarian activists’ actions had interfered with Romania’s internal affairs, which goes against the country’s Constitution. The officials accused the activists of lobbying for votes in favour of Hungarian political parties, now that Hungarian law allows for Hungarian citizens outside of Hungary to vote in elections. Hungary goes to the polls on April 6.
Activists have been pushing a “United Hungary” campaign, which rejects the Treaty of Trianon that divided Hungary. Romania’s action today makes clear that it will not stand for such activity within its borders.
Bekeményített Bukarest a Jobbik Ellen, Nepszava.hu; 17 March 2014.
Minden magyarországi pártot ki akarnak tiltani Romániából, Nol.hu; 12 March 2014.
Kitiltaná a Jobbikot Romániából az államfő, Nepszava.hu; 11 March 2014.