Heads of around 50 ethnic Hungarian civil groups, state and county organisations and prominent public personalities have formed a co-ordination forum in Slovakia, news portal parameter.sk reported.

They held their first meeting on Thursday, the new portal said.

The Roundtable of Ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia will regularly meet to discuss the most important issues affecting the community, director of Forum Institute from Samorin Karoly Toth said.

The body will formulate positions on public matters affecting ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia. If necessary, it will also defend ethnic Hungarian interests against the Slovak authorities, he added.After more than twenty years of post-communist transformation, the issue of the Hungarian ethnic minority and other national minorities has not been successfully settled in Slovakia, the participants statement said.

No comprehensive legal or institutional framework exists to guarantee the natural rights of ethnic minorities in the long term, regardless of actual political fluctuations, and to support them in maintaining and nurturing their identities, said the statement.

The ethnic Hungarian minority in Slovakia needs to organise itself better and raise its voice on issues that concern it, the statement said.
The Budapest Times