There are some proposals that can be formulated on the experiences of the past ten years:
What we do not debate and might be an uncomfortable question in both ethnical groups: a consensus-based administration, the common veto right of different ethnical groups.
Therefore, in an autonomy form such as South Tyrol’s the will of the majority of Seklers could not be endorsed without the agreement of the Romanian community. And vice versa.
There, they were able to overcome the antipathy toward each other.
Here, there are some people who even deny the existence of Seklerland.
It is highly important to know who feels at home in Seklerland and who is considered to be not in their homeland from the point of view of the local and the national majority.
At the symposium held in Miercurea Ciuc in 2011, the guests from South Tyrol said, that the Italian speaker residents were domiciled in South Tyrol in order to create a majority in the local administration and to increase the proportion of their nation.
My opinion is that Italians from South Tyrol were irritated by multilingualism in the province, but most of them have recognized for now the benefits of the German language skills, for example it represents an advantage of growing opportunities in the labor market.
I also read that in the past twenty years, Italians from South Tyrol already closed the period of dislike and rejection. The interest in German culture and language increases, more people speak German and develop a real relationship with German-speaking neighbors, and the idea of autonomy has become increasingly accepted.
However, I also read that Italians living in South Tyrol – even with difficulty – for now they are able to call South Tyrol as “Heimat” (homeland). The framework for co-existence is increasingly determined by that mutual recognition that they depend one on another, and that none of them can prevail the other.
Unfortunately, in most cases, there is a mutual dislike and suspicion in Seklerland. It is enough to turn the pages on the Romanian-language press from Harghita and Covasna counties, or even Maroș county and see how they respond to our legitimate claims.
It is a long way to reach a consensus, but we have to work on it, we need a cohabitation pact, as Mr. Hunor Kelemen said.
I know, of course, we cannot take over another country’s model as it is, but consensus is a universal concept, it can be only a positive one all over the world.
They should be interested in learning the Hungarian language. It would be optimal to assess the proportion of Romanians in Seklerland who do not speak Hungarian at all.
As it seems that we have succeeded in the issue of Romanian language education – through filing a complaint to a minister at the National Anti-Discrimination Council, and then through its resignation – for the realization of special programs for non-Romanian students, we need to lobby in Bucharest for making possible the introduction of Hungarian language education, as optional subject, in Romanian schools from Seklerland, but most optimal from Transylvania.
We have supported the organization of Hungarian language courses for local public authorities’ employees. (Vasláb/ Voșlăbeni). This program should be extended, to make it common in local authorities from Seklerland.
We need to find those economic strenghts that serves the region’s benefit, regardless of ethnicity.
The ethnic limits can be broken down only if the local Romanian communities are involved in our initiatives: in local autorities’ associations (ADI), touristic developments, production and sale of traditional local products (Product of Harghita, Harghita cheese at monthly fairs).
When will the local Romanian communities consider Seklerland as their “Heimat”? Only when they consider the local authorities’ projects as their own as well.
Sfântu Gheorghe, 21 February 2019