Cover Osteuropa 6-8/2019

In Osteuropa 6-8/2019

Hungarians in Romania
Demographics, Romanian minorities policy and national policy in Budapest

Tamás Kiss

Deutsche Fassung


The number of Hungarians living in Romania has decreased sharply over the last 20 years. The two main causes are migration and low birth rates. In addition, an increasingly large portion of this group, which used to dominate ur-ban civic society in Transylvania, has become socially marginalised. This is also a result of Romanian minorities policy. While this policy places no limit on the social and political self-organisation of the Hungarian population, it does not grant this group any statutory right to participate in decision-making. The Hungarian politicians have therefore embedded themselves in the dominant clientelist system of patronage in order to divert resources to the areas settled by Hungarians. However, this model has come under pressure for several years. The government of Viktor Orbán in Budapest has not only granted Hungarian citizenship to many Hungarians living in Romania, but has also succeeded in incorporating the Hungarian politicians in Transylvania into its own clientele network.

(Osteuropa 6-8/2019, pp. 157–168)