The Szekler flag – Photo: wikipedia

Potapi: ‘Hungarian communities beyond borders not weakened during pandemic’

Hungarian communities have not weakened but in many cases become stronger during the coronavirus pandemic, with the help of grants of Hungarian government's National Restart Programme, a state secretary of the Prime Minister's Office said on Thursday,

Arpad Janos Potapi, who is in charge of the policy towards Hungarian communities abroad, addressed a meeting of five committees of the Hungarian Permanent Conference (Maert) in Budapest. He gave an outline of objectives, projects supported and areas of planned support during the period of 2018 and 2022 to the meeting of Maert’s economic, digital, municipal affairs, legal and defence and security policy committees.

The main policy objectives during the period include strengthening Hungarian identity, developing and integrating the economies of the Carpathian Basin and supporting families, he said.

The Restart Programme provided 2 billion forints (EUR 5.6m) last year to ethnic Hungarian organisations to help operational costs, development projects and purchases, and the organisation of events that had to be postponed because of the pandemic, Potapi said. It also provided grants to the development of 900 nurseries and kindergartens, and to the operation of 50 secondary schools, colleges and vocational schools as well as eight higher education institutions.

Tamas Vargha, a state secretary of the foreign ministry and the chair of the meeting, said that Hungary’s foreign policy goal would remain to continue to support Hungarian communities abroad and strengthen cooperation with neighbouring countries including the other three members of the Visegrad Four grouping.

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