MAĎARSKÁ MENŠINA POČAS PRAŽSKEJ JARI A V PRVÝCH ROKOCH NORMALIZÁCIE
Hungarian minority during the Prague Spring and during the first years of the Normalisation period
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With the new arrangement of Czecho-Slovak relations in Czechoslovakia in 1968, the need to address the status of Hungarian minority in Slovakia emerged inevitably. The Cultural Association of Hungarian workers in Czechoslovakia (Csemadok), a revived insitution recognized even by the Communist Party, became an unofficial representative of the Hungarian minority. It demanded the constitutional entrenchment of minority rights under the principle of self-government, establishment of national institutions and proportional representation of minorities in elected and executive bodies. Since negotiations about the definition of the constitutional status of nationalities soon came to a deadlock, the Constitutional Law on the status of nationalities was only adopted after the intervention, in October 1968. While the severely restricted constitutional law caused disappointment among nationalities, their leading representative did not give up hope that they could create an ethnic policy based on truly new foundations. Yet, due to the advancing „Normalisation“ process, their hopes and proposals failed to materialise. The ambition to address the legal status of ethnic minorities on the principles of equality and self-government was a unique initiative that was unprecedented in the former Soviet-bloc East-Central Europe. Rejection of a significant part of the demands by the Hungarian minority immediately before the occupation raises a question of whether further existence and potential victory of the democratization process would truly have created a chance for the minorities to have their demands met in full.
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