About the RMDSZ and the Hungarian community in Romania
The RMDSZ is the main political organisation representing the ethnic Hungarians of Romania, the largest national minority in Europe living in one country. According to the 2011 census 1,237,746 citizens, 6.5 percent of Romania’s population are of Hungarian ethnicity, the overwhelming majority (99%) of whom live in Transylvania.
The RMDSZ was founded on the 25th of December 1989, immediately after the fall of the Communist dictatorship in the Romanian Revolution of 1989. Officially organised as a national minority organization (not as a party) it nevertheless acts as one of the main parties of Romania. The RMDSZ has been a parliamentary party since 1990. It has its own representatives in the Senate and in the Chamber of Deputies, and since 1996 UDMR was junior coalition partner in several Romanian Governments. Since 2007 the RMDSZ has members in the European Parliament.
The organization's president is Hunor Kelemen. He was elected by the Party Congress in 2011, and re-elected in 2015. He is seconded by executive president Péter Kovács. Former president of the party, writer Béla Markó, held the position from 1993. He in turn was preceded by founding president Géza Domokos, in office from 1990 to 1993.
The most important objectives of the RMDSZ are the preservation and development of the Hungarian community in Transylvania. Over the years the Alliance has assumed roles in the country’s Parliament and Government wanting to ensure a better life for every citizen of the country, and as a minority protection organization representing the Hungarians, the RMDSZ concerns itself, above all, with Hungarian minority rights. The RMDSZ believes in a functioning democracy based on the rule of law, with all the necessary institutions, and social-market economy. RMDSZ has been a moderating force providing political stability in Romania ever since the 1989 Revolution, contributing decisively to Romania’s EU and NATO accession. It decided in 1990 to choose the democratic path and use the tools of parliamentary democracy to gain rights for the Hungarian minority in Romania.
The Alliance encourages decentralisation and the application of the principle of subsidiarity, and aims for the achievement of the different types of autonomy in Romania: cultural autonomy for the smaller and most vulnerable communities, and the territorial autonomy and self-determination for those ethnic Hungarians who live as a majority in their area. However, the RMDSZ wishes to achieve this goal only through a dialogue and in consensus with the Romanian society and politics and based on proven Western European models. Ethnic minorities contribute with important values and a significant cultural heritage to the life of the country as a whole.
Guaranteeing the right to the use of the mother tongue in all segments of private and public life, as well as the education in mother tongue, and the administration of all establishments in the area of minority education and culture, are the most important elements of the daily struggle of the RMDSZ. In its programme, the RMDSZ has set specific, achievable and enforceable ideas in the areas of education, family, economic, youth, and foreign policy as well as the preservation of cultural identity.
Structure and bodies of the RMDSZ
The RMDSZ is structured into territorial organizations as well as platforms representing different political ideologies (Christian Democratic, Socialist, Liberal, National Liberal). It has several associated partners and groups representing the civil society, or the social, scientific, artistic or professional domains, as well as youth and women’s organizations.
The Alliance functions according to the principle of organizational self-government, distinguishing between legislative, executive and controlling bodies. The Congress is the utmost decisive body of the Alliance. The decisive bodies of the Alliance in between two Congresses are: the Council of Representatives of the Alliance (SZKT-CRA), the Permanent Council of the Alliance (SZÁT-PCA), and the Alliance Presidency (AP). The Executive Presidency is the executive body of the Alliance. It implements the decrees passed by the Congress, the CRA, the PCA and the AP. Accordingly, the EP it reaches decisions within its own competence.
The consulting bodies of the Alliance are: the Consulting Council of Regional Presidents (TEKT-CCRP), the Consulting Council of Platforms (PKT-CCP) and the National Council of Self-Governments (OÖT-NCS). The bodies credited with controlling are the Regulation Control Commission of the Alliance, the Ethical and Disciplinary Commission of the Alliance and the Alliance Control Commission.
The RMDSZ is a member of the European People’s Party (EPP), the largest and most influential European-level political party of the centre-right with the largest Group in the European Parliament.
The RMDSZ is also a member of the Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN), the largest umbrella organisation of the autochthonous, national minorities/ethnic groups in Europe. The FUEN represents the interests of the European minorities on regional, national and in particular on the European level. It is committed to protect and promote the identity, language, culture, rights and own character of the European minorities.