Hungarian government provides financial support to Romanian political organizations

Fidesz has a long-standing relationship with the Hungarian political-civic faction Hungarian National Council of Transylvania (EMNT) and Hungarian People’s Party of Transylvania (EMNP), led by the well-known Laszlo Tokes.

According to a recently spread rumour Fidesz, as a leader of the Hungarian government offers not only moral, but also financial support to the EMNP. This is a highly sensitive issue as Romanian party financing laws explicitly prohibit donations coming from foreign countries, organizations or people.

Our investigation aimed to uncover this party financing scheme. Because direct financing is against the Romanian laws, the Hungarian government uses indirect ways to support the EMNT-EMNP faction. A number of EMNP politicians are employed in Democracy Centers, which is a network of offices aimed to help Hungarian nationals living in Romania to apply for Hungarian citizenship. Also the Hungarian government offers generous financing to this faction through restricted tenders.

Moreover, we proved that during 2012, in the middle of the Romanian local and parliamentary elections, a number of state-owned companies like the National Lottery Co. (Szerencsejatek Zrt.), the Hungarian Development Bank Plc (Magyar Fejlesztesi Bank Zrt.), the Hungarian Energy Company (Magyar Villamos Muvek Zrt.) and the Bethlen Gabor Fund offered a total of 1 million euros to a number of NGOs freshly registered by politicians of the EMNT-EMNP faction. These NGOs have little or no visible activity, so these sponsorations don’t seem to be justified.

Every political faction needs „friendly” media coverage to succeed. We believe this is the purpose of the 1,9 million euro donation received by a Hungarian foundation, the majority owner of a Transylvanian media trust from the National Lottery Co. and the Hungarian Development Bank Plc.

There is no doubt, that Fidesz is making preparations for the 2014 Hungarian parliamentary elections, and they are definitely counting on the votes of Hungarian nationals living abroad. The Hungarian community living in Romania is by far the largest, Hungary is receiving the greatest number of citizenship applications from Transylvania. By supporting the EMNT-EMNP project, Fidesz is hoping to build the regional structures needed to mobilize the Hungarian voters living in Romania.

The investigation was conducted by Zoltán Sipos of Transindex.ro, supported by Freedom House Romania. Full article in Hungarian.