Report on the two-year activity of the Hungarian National Minority Council

June 30, 2010 - June 30, 2012

The Hungarian National Minority Council, i.e. the public body of the Hungarian cultural autonomy, established through direct, democratic multi-party election, started its activities by its statutory session held on June 30th 2010. Two years after the statutory session, in the middle of our four-year term, we believe it is crucial to make accessible the work we have done and the results we have achieved so far.

Of course, all activities of the Hungarian National Minority Council  (HNMC) have been open and we were continuously and exhaustively informing the public about all our decisions, interventions and plans, first and foremost, via the media (all our sessions were broadcast live by the Pannon RTV) and also through some other communication channels (various internet websites:  www.mnt.org.rswww.mntosztondij.org.rs, www.kulturaliskalauz.rs, www.mntkiemeltkulturalis.com, individual publishing /e.g. language usage guide/, parliament hearings, public debates, conferences, forums).  Nevertheless, we consider that a brief, written report summarizing our two-year work is indispensable.  A close, authentic, fact-based recapitulative report, appropriate to present the most important events, interventions and programmes of the last two years in a brief and pithy manner, should be made accessible to all interested parties.  We have attempted to make such a report, which will not be lost in details and will provide a balanced, fact-based and fair insight into our work done so far, without forming value judgements, qualifications, or falling into inflated self-appraisal.  Qualifying is the task of the public and the constituents, while our duty is to consequently publish facts, data, interventions and documents providing a basis for such qualification.

In preparing this report, we considered it important to concisely present to the reader all those promises, which were given by the Hungarian Unity to its constituency in 2010, during the election campaign.  Why? Firstly, because the coalition formed around the Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians achieved 78% support by the constituency, hence it could manage the operations of the HNMC by itself and because the credibility of uttered and written promises is defined by actions alone.  Last but not least, it is needed, because the facts, actions and documents presented in the report can be compared with something, more precisely, with the promises for which we asked the support and trust of the constituency.  We will briefly present below the goals and programmes defined in the 2010 election programme of the Hungarian Unity in the four fields within the HNMC competences:  

Education.   The major strategic goals drafted in the election programmes were as follows:  1. to gradually increase the qualification and education level of Hungarians in Vojvodina, 2. to transfer the founding rights - establishing and managing the system of schools founded by the HNMC, 3. to increase the number and proportion of pupils attending school in their primary language, 4. to maintain Hungarian language teaching in dispersed settlements, 5. to raise the professional level of  teaching in Hungarian.  We planned to achieve the above goals through the following projects and interventions:  1. developing and adopting the Hungarian education strategy, 2. interventions related to the increase in the percent of Hungarian students enrolling in four-year secondary schools,   3. providing diverse scholarships, primarily in higher education and supporting and coordinating the work of student subsidising organisations, 4. extending dormitory capacities, building the Europe Dormitory, 5. reforming the teaching of the Serbian language and its promotion in the Hungarian language teaching classes, 6. interventions targeted at decreasing the number and proportion of Hungarian children learning in Serbian, 7. school bus programme for dispersed settlements, 8. supporting the permanent professional upgrading of teaching staff,  9. implementing two-major teacher training.

Culture:  The major strategic goals drafted in the election programmes were as follows:  1. to ensure comprehensive mapping, listing and effective protection of our cultural heritage and transfer of its ownership to our community, 2. to transfer founding rights – forming and managing the system of cultural institutions established by the HNMC, 3. to revive and extend publishing activities and support lacking publishing,  4. to develop and re-organise acting in Hungarian language with the aim of achieving that our theatres increasingly fulfill their community-shaping, value-creating and -protecting role, 5. to develop Hungarian filmmaking and film art in Vojvodina.  We planned to achieve the above goals through the following projects and interventions: 1. developing and adopting the Vojvodina Hungarian Cultural Strategy, 2. upgrading the programme activities of the Vojvodina Hungarian Cultural Institute, 3. enabling stable financing for the visiting performances of our theatres in rural settlements populated by Hungarians.   

The media:  The major strategic goals drafted in the election programmes were as follows:  1. to increase the professional level and the reading ratings of the Hungarian printed press in Vojvodina, 2. to improve the professional level and the working conditions of the electronic media, 3. to develop and adopt the Vojvodina Hungarian Media Strategy.  We planned to achieve the above goals through the following projects and interventions: permanent professional upgrading of journalists and carrying into effect those interventions, which provide the operation and stability of present media.

Official usage of the Hungarian language:  The major strategic goal drafted in the election programmes was as follows:  to provide the wide-scale usage of the Hungarian language in administration, courts and any region where Hungarians live in a large number, concentrated within the area.  We plan to achieve this goal via the following projects and interventions: 1. providing effective legal aid and legal protection in cases of breaching language rights – initiating trial lawsuits, appeals to the Constitutional Court, proceedings with the ombudsman office, 2. wide-scale awareness raising campaign about our language usage rights, 3. taking up interventions stimulating the learning of Hungarian as a language of the environment, 4.  programmes supporting the development of professional terminology in Hungarian (seminars on professional terminology, publishing professional dictionaries).

The complete text of the two-year report can be downloaded here.