How much is the amount of public funding that the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (DAHR, UDMR in Romanian) receives annually? Which is the legal basis for financing DAHR from public funds? In the following lines I am proposing you an analysis about a business worth millions of Euros annually from public funds. A business that is conducted with public funds and with the consent of the entire Romanian political class.
Motto: “DAHR is not a political party, but an organization representing an ethnic community in Romania. We have always said that DAHR must be treated differently than a political party…” Tamas Sandor, President of DAHR organization in Covasna County and President of the Covasna County Council, February 2014
”DAHR is not a political party, but an NGO of the Hungarian community and has the right to fly its own flag. We will not display Romanian national flag on our headquarters, everything will remain as before” Borboly Csaba, President of DAHR organization in Harghita County and President of the Harghita County Council, January 2009
Romania is the only country in the European Union that allowed, legally, the establishment of political parties on ethnic criteria. Following the formation of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania, in 1989, came the creation of the Hungarian Civic Party (PCM) in January 2008 and the Hungarian People’s Party of Transylvania (PPMT) in September 2011.
The sole purpose of these three political parties formed on ethnic criteria is that of obtaining territorial autonomy on ethnic criteria of the so-called Szekely Land, a region that consists of the counties of Covasna and Harghita and part of the Mureș County. Radical extremists and moderate extremists are on the same wavelength when it comes to ethnic autonomy of this region. The moderate extremists act in the Romanian Parliament, Government and other public institutions, while the radical ones act locally in the three counties, together with part of the moderate extremists.
Of the three political parties only DAHR receives annual funding from the state budget. If by 2009 DAHR was funded both as a political party, under Law no. 27/1996 of political parties and other laws regulating political parties, but also as a non-governmental organization (NGO) of the Hungarian community in Romania, starting from 2009 DAHR is funded exclusively as an representative NGO of the Hungarian community in Romania.
DAHR funding from public funds during the period of 2000-2007
Between 2000 and 2007, DAHR was financed by the General Secretary of the Romanian Government based on the Law no. 27/1996 of political parties, Law no. 43/2003 of the financing of political parties and election campaigns and Emergency Government Ordinance (OUG in Romanian) no. 8/2007 for the amendment of art. IV of OUG no. 1/2007 on some measures for the organization of elections for the European Parliament and of art. 9^2 par. 1 of Law no. 33/2007 on the organization of the elections for the European Parliament.
According to the document no. 15C/232/rp/20.11.2008 of the General Secretary of the Romanian Government, the annual allocations for DAHR, as a political party, from the Romanian Government budget were: 389,784 lei – year 2000; 616,938 lei – 2001; 746,944 lei – 2002; 746,944 lei – 2003; 746,944 lei – 2004; 729,480 lei – 2005; 729,481 lei – 2006; 729,481 lei – 2007. (1 euro = 4,5 lei)
At the same time, DAHR received millions of lei annually from public funds through a foundation that they control. According to the document no. 15C/33/rp/03.19.2014 of the Romanian Government, the Communitas Foundation has received the following amounts from public funds: 1,726,030 lei – 2003; 5,000,000 lei – 2004 (election year); 5,852,000 lei – 2005; 8,020,000 lei – 2006; 10,770,000 lei – 2007. (1 euro = 4,5 lei)
Despite the huge sums they collected each year from public funds, the Communitas Foundation has a website exclusively in Hungarian.
DAHR funding from public funds during the period of 2008-2014
In 2008, DAHR is funded under the Law no. 27/1996 of political parties but the source of funding is changed. Under the Law no. 334/2006, starting from 2008 the financing of political parties from the public funds is done by the Permanent Electoral Authority. DAHR has received in 2008, as political party, the amount of 512,421 lei and 80,122 lei in 2009. Starting March 2009, DAHR is no longer publicly funded under the law of political parties.
Below, the financing of political parties in Romania in the period between 2008-2010 from the budget of the Permanent Electoral Authority. In 2010 DAHR does not appear as cashing money under the law of political parties (documents here).
At the same time, DAHR receives millions of lei annually from the budget of the General Secretary of the Romanian Government through the Communitas Foundation under its control. According to the document no. 15C/33/rp/03.19.2014 of the Romanian Government the Communitas Foundation has received the following amounts from public funds: 14,250,000 lei in 2008 and 2,110,000 in 2009. Between 2010 and 2014 the Communitas Foundation is no longer funded from the budget of the General Secretary of the Government of Romania.
According to the document no. 15C/28/rp/03.05.2014 of the General Secretary of the Government, DAHR received in 2009 the amount of 13,072,660 lei directly from the Romanian Government as an NGO of the Hungarian community in Romania. In total, in 2009, DAHR has received over 15 million lei from the budget of the Romanian Government (aprox. 3.3 milion Euros).
Since 2009 DAHR is financed directly from the budget of the Romanian Government as an NGO of the Hungarian community in Romania. The amounts DAHR received between 2009 and 2014 are huge, reaching to almost 21 million lei in 2010 and 18,5 million lei in 2014.
The documents show that DAHR began in 2000 with funding from public funds amounting to 389,000 lei and reached almost 21 million lei in 2010. The figures are downright stupefying: public funding of DAHR increased 53 times in the last 14 years. At the same time, the number of Hungarians in Romania did not increase over the years, but declined steadily.
The moderate extremists from DAHR are probably the sector with the most spectacular increase when it comes to budget allocations. While Romania closed hospitals and schools due to the so-called lack of funds, the DAHR allocation of public funds exploded, reaching almost 21 million lei in 2010 and over 18 million lei in 2014.
To these amounts we can add several other sources of public funding of DAHR, such as for example the 7,3 million lei spent exclusively on monuments of the Hungarian community in Covasna and Harghita county by Kelemen Hunor, the presindet of DAHR, during his first term at the head of the Ministry of Culture, between 2009 and 2011 (details here).
Despite all this millions of Euros that the Hungarian community in Romania receives annually from the Romanian Government (I feel obliged to underline that these amounts are only the ones coming directly from the Romanian Government but the Hungarian community in Romania has several other funding sources from public funds) it’s political and social elite claim that Romania does not respect the ethnic rights of Hungarian living here. The millions of Euro they receive annually just because they are of Hungarian ethnicity proves that they are lying. For all these milions of Euros DAHR gives no public statement concerning how it spends them.
Questions that expect a reply
This brings a legitimate question: why is DAHR no longer financed as a political party? An immediate explanation would be that DAHR can receive much larger amounts of public funds if it receives them as an NGO and not as a political party. Stopping the funding of DAHR under the law of political parties automatically means that DAHR is not a political party. The second legitimate question then arises: what is DAHR doing in the Romanian Parliament and the Romanian Government since it is not a political party? Governments are led by political parties, not by NGOs. This question must be answered by all those who have benefited from funding of a Hungarian extremist organization, be it the Social Democratic Party, the National Liberal Party or the Liberal Democratic Party.