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September 23, 2023
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Romania Blocks Hungarian Investments in Transylvania

According to answers offered by Romanian officials to the local media platform G4Media, Romania has blocked Hungarian investments in Transylvania. This is something new in the bilateral relations between the two countries.

No bilateral agreement has been concluded at any level between Romania and Hungary for the Hungarian state to carry out financing programs on Romanian territory. Without such an agreement, there is no consent from the Romanian side for the Hungarian side to run such programs in Romania

Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for G4Media

So far, Romania has offered the opportunity for the Hungarian Government to economically “conquer” Transylvania, and Hungary was one of the significant investors in the region. From football teams to infrastructure, the Hungarian investments helped the region develop more quickly.

This attracted not only local or regional development but also critics from nationalists in Romania. They raised eyebrows at the good intentions of Hungary and related all to the self-determination movement of the Hungarians in Transylvania.

In fact, Hungary is seen in Romania as the country which fuels the self-determination movement through the UDMR – the Hungarian minority party currently in power. While Romania is an example at the European level of how it respects the rights of minorities, Romanians have been witnessing the step-by-step movement of the Hungarian minority toward their final goal. Year after year, UDMR asked for more rights and administrative independence in the region. The Romanian governments that needed a political alliance with the Hungarian minority to remain in power, offered concession after concession.

It seems that all this is at least halted at the moment. The Romanian authorities have not yet agreed upon the Hungarian investment programme, and it doesn’t seem to be approved in the near future.

But don’t rush and think that Romania has finally woken up and realized the long-term risks associated with allowing that sort of foreign investment. This decision was probably taken following the current regional context, as Hungary showed a tendency to oppose the European Union policy towards Russia or at least delay some sanctions.

Will this be a definitive decision? Time will tell, but it is the first gesture of Romanian diplomacy not to allow Hungarians to invest further in Transylvania.

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