Gov’t to set up new fund helping ethnic Hungarians abroad

Budapest, November 26 (MTI) – Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjen has initiated that the government should set up a new fund to support ethnic Hungarian organisations abroad.

Replacing the current Homeland Fund, the Gabor Bethlen Fund will be designed to promote links between Hungary and ethnic Hungarians living beyond its borders.

    The fund will be named after Gabor Bethlen, a prince of Transylvania in the 17th century whose rule is generally regarded as the golden age of the region.

    Under the initiative, the Homeland Fund needs to be replaced in order to increase transparency and efficiency in the system of financing for ethnic Hungarians abroad.

    Funding from the Gabor Bethlen Fund will be available through application. The operation of the fund will be overseen by a committee under the principles set by the Hungarian Permanent Conference.

    The fund will accept donations from individuals or organisations to be supplemented by the Hungarian government so that its annual budget should reach at least 1 billion forints (EUR 3.6m).

    Once approved by Parliament, the related law will come into effect on January 1, 2011.