According to the only snippet on this I found in English, from March 20, 2018:

The Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) has admitted on Monday the PNL and PMP notification regarding the draft law on the establishment of the Roman Catholic Theological High School in Targu Mures. “The Parliament cannot give individual laws that produce effects for a single legal person, and in this case it is a legal person. It is not a regulation on the relations between parents, pupils, students, a school was established,” CCR ...

The PNL (National Liberal Party) backed and backs Klaus Iohannis for presidency, who himself is a member of the German ethnic minority in Romania. So PNL doesn't seem incredibly xenophobic overall. So, why did they complain against the Hungarian-language Catholic school in Targu Mures?

(Also the leader of PNL and current Romanian PM, Ludovic Orban is of mixed Hungarian and Romanian ethnicity. He was also leader of PNL [but not PM] when that complaint was made.)

2 Answers 2


This is a Romanian perspective

I think there is no actual connection between backing Klaus Iohannis and notifying the Constitutional Court about the Roman Catholic Theological High School in Târgu Mureş.

Backing Klaus Iohannis is very good for the party because he is a very popular politician who proved his efficiency as a mayor in Sibiu and has clear pro-EU and pro-NATO views which are synced with Romanians pro-EU views.

On the other hand, let us not forget about the "national" word in the PNL (National Liberal Party) which is a conservative-liberal party. An important fraction of Romanians is sensitive to nationalistic messages, so it makes sense for them to do something.

This article provides more details about the political context of this action. This happened when PNL was in the opposition and the UDMR (Magyars Union) was part of the coalition in power. One PNL MP argued that voting the law to allow this High School was part of a political deal between parties in power to allow PSD to change various laws (translated from Romanian):

We are dealing with a deeply unconstitutional law. You do not have to go to school too much, as it is Hungarian, it is Romanian, to understand that you cannot pass the Law of national education, to set up a separate unit through a separate law. An extremely dangerous Pandora's box opens. It passes the bulldozer over the local autonomy, over the separation of powers in the state and, practically, we openly discuss the deal that PSD-ALDE pays to the UDMR leaders in support of an anti-economic and anti-national Government.

As a person interested in politics and living in Romania, there are numerous cases of ideological inconsistencies in Romanian politics. One example is what some derogatorily called "monstrous coalition" between PNL and PSD.


I am answering this from the Hungarian viewpoint, so I may be biased. I think the main reason is that the number of ethnic Germans in Transylvania has dropped very low. Many of them were "sold" to Germany in the Ceausescu era, and others left during the 90ies. Their ratio is below 1% in the country now, so they are now not in a position to demand significant autonomy.

The ratio of Hungarians in Romania is about 5-6% (total number around 1.3-1.5 million). Most of them are concentrated in the area called Szeklerland (Szekelyfold in Hungarian), which is covered by the counties Harghita, Covasna and half of Mures. They demand at least cultural, but rather territorial autonomy for a long time now (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sz%C3%A9kely_autonomy_movement). Several parties consider such an autonomy, or even a cultural autonomy for Hungarians as a threat to the country. Every little step the Hungarians achieve is a step towards autonomy in their eyes.

By supporting Klaus Iohannis they can have the image that they are very tolerant towards minorities. Furthermore, by supporting someone with german origins they can also have the image of a party having good connections to Western Europe. Ludovic Orban has one Hungarian grandparent, but he claims himself completely assimilated.

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    Ref to the last paragraph, I think the main reasons for supporting Klaus Iohannis are related to the very tolerant image they want to get. PNL lacks any other notorious candidates (e.g. they were unable to provide a decent candidate for Bucharest local elections) and Romanians typically regard Germans as being very serious and trustworthy.
    – Alexei
    Commented Nov 30, 2019 at 11:59

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