Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Treaty of Trianon (1920)
In the 90s the states of the region, the council of Europe were taken over by Article 1201. They
forced them to create regional alliances. This resulted in the subsequent joining of these central
states to NATO.
Each set of the region had to develop a complex set of polices and minority rights guarantees.
Hungary took the lead in pushing forth minority rights. They believed the basic treaties were
useless and did not achieve their desired aim. The Hungarians perceived it was done on paper but
little done on the ground.
From 1990s to now, the Hungarians will use the treaties to achieve virtual changes of the border.
While they cannot change the borders physically.
The Treaty of Trianon remains symbolic in Hungarian political life. It is part of the struggle which
exists between the Hungarian socialist party and the more traditional right which is called Fidesz.
This party began as a youth center right party. They call this a moment of partition, when the
'Hungarians' were torn apart from the awful events of the 20th century. It is part of their schooling
to view the events of the 1920s as a national catastrophe.
From the 1920s to 1945, Hungarian foreign policy was based on the restoration of its territory.
In World War II, they took the side of Nazi Germany and regained a portion of their territories.
Hungary invaded Yugoslavia, Slovakia, and participated in the invasion of the USSR. This resulted
in devastating consequences. As a result, the Hungarians have not had the friendliest relationship
with their neighbors and are regarded as very hostile.
After 1945, the Hungarian issue was buried and the minority issue was not spoken of.
In 1989, with the collapse of the Hungarian Communist regime. The Communists turned socialists,
negotiated themselves out of power and agree to free and fair elections. The Socialists were
almost eliminated as a political force.
With the revival of right wing parties came the return of minority issues.
In the process of becoming a partner of Euro-Atlantic relations, they decided to shelve the issue.
This lasted for some time. What becomes transformative is that the Fidesz family grabs the issue.
The center-right attempts to win virtual victories to change the borders.
The Slovakian policy also exacerbated the issue by taking an anti-Hungarian policy. The Romanian
government used the Hungarians as scapegoats.
The Fidesz group attempted to meddle with the laws of citizenship. What they do in 2001, the
Fidesz government pushes the status law, passing in parliament, it was a peculiar form of dual
citizenship. It allows Hungarians to travel to Hungary, work there, give them preferential
When the government changed, the socialists came to power in 2002, they govern for 8 years
until 2010. They called for a referendum on whether the Hungarians want to grant full Hungarian
citizenship to Hungarians around the world, with all the rights an obligations to our 'diaspora'.