Inauguration of Hungarian Minority Headquarters in Lendava, Slovenia – PHOTOS
Presidents of Hungary Katalin Novák and Slovenian President Borut Pahor attended the inauguration of the new headquarters of the ethnic community of the Hungarian local government of Prekmurje (MMÖNK) in Lendava (Lendva) on Friday afternoon.
At the event concluding her two-day official visit to Slovenia, Novák welcomed that the Hungarians of Prekmurje are represented in the Slovenian parliament and that their rights to their language, education and cultural self-determination are guaranteed . She said that by helping to renovate the building, the Hungarian government also aims to help Lendava prosper.
Pahor said “this is a happy phase of history for Slovenes and Hungarians as they live in one sovereign state, with ethnic Hungarians in Slovenia and ethnic Slovenes in Hungary binding the two nations together”. “We, Slovenians and Hungarians, are proud of our national identity which we must cultivate in Europe, our great common home,” he said.
Ferenc Horváth, president of MMÖNK, said that “an old dream of [Hungarian] community has come true,” adding that the new headquarters will help them stay together and preserve their heritage.
Hungarian President in Slovenia: Europe must be united in the face of war
Europe must be united in its response to the war in Ukraine, Hungarian and Slovenian Presidents Katalin Novák and Borut Pahor said Friday at a joint press conference after their talks in Ljubljana. The Hungarian president noted that her meeting with Pahor this week was her second since taking office earlier this year and that her visit to Slovenia was her first official trip to a neighboring country. Novák hailed the development of economic relations between Hungary and Slovenia, stressing their increasingly close cooperation in infrastructure development.
The border regions of Prekmurje (Muravidék) in Slovenia and Rábavidék in Hungary are increasingly functioning as a common economic area,
Novák said, noting that the two governments have earmarked €5 million a year each for a five-year economic development plan for the region. The President also highlighted bilateral cooperation in the fields of education, culture, heritage protection and science.
Novák thanked Slovenia for its treatment of its Hungarian minorities. “It becomes even more important in times of war,” she said. Hungarians in Slovenia can live in peace, preserving their traditions and mother tongue, and can contribute to the development of Slovenia without having to give up their Hungarian identity, she said, adding that this was also true for Slovenians living in Hungary.
Regarding the war, Novák said that Europe must remain united in its response to the conflict. She should, however, consider the consequences of her decisions before making them, she added. Europe must make decisions that primarily harm Russia, she said.
Novák said the war has also brought challenges that affect the whole region, such as the energy situation, rising prices, inflation and growing migration pressure. Managing these challenges requires stability, which requires resources, she said, adding that Hungary also needed access to European Union funds to which it was entitled.
Meanwhile, Novák expressed Hungary’s support for EU enlargement in the Western Balkans, saying that granting Bosnia and Herzegovina candidate country status and accelerating the accession process of Serbia were in the fundamental interest of Europe.
Pahor thanked Novák for choosing Slovenia as the first neighboring country to visit in her capacity as president. “It is a courtesy that signals the continuation of good relations between our two countries”, recalling his eight meetings held over the past ten years with former Hungarian President Janos Ader. “We live in very complex geopolitical times, that’s why we need friends,” Pahor said.
He thanked the Hungarian President for her unconditional support for Slovenia’s position on the integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina into the EU.
Asked about the war in Ukraine, Pahor said Russia attacked its neighbor “in an illegitimate and immoral way”, in this way it also attacked European collective values. “We must unite to achieve a just peace, because such a peace will only be lasting if the rights of a country that has been attacked are guaranteed,” the Slovenian president said.