Hungary will expand its cross-border economic development scheme aimed at helping ethnic Hungarian communities beyond the border to Szeklerland, Romania.
After talks with Hunor Kelemen, head of the ethnic Hungarian RMDSZ party, in Cluj-Napoca (Kolozsvár), Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said the programme so far has only been implemented in Mureș County, targeting farmers and small companies.
Last year, the Hungarian government disbursed 1.5 billion forints (EUR 4.7m) to the region’s farmers and entrepreneurs, he said, adding that the 800 grant applications that have been submitted this year were still being assessed. Szijjártó also noted that next year’s budget earmarks 50 billion forints for economic development schemes, a significant chunk of which will be geared towards Transylvania and Szeklerland.
The minister lamented the Romanian government’s failure so far to approve the opening of a Hungarian cultural institute in Cluj-Napoca. He said the Hungarian government would gladly support the opening of a Romanian cultural institute in any Hungarian city. “I would encourage the Romanians to open as many cultural institutes in Hungary as possible,” Szijjártó said.