The Coalition’s Projects and Accomplishments in 2002

The Hungarian American Coalition is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization founded in 1991. Its mission is to identify and promote the interests of the Hungarian-American community. Its goals are:

  • To foster appreciation of Hungary’s history and culture;
  • To protect and preserve the human and minority rights and cultural heritage of Hungarians throughout the world;
  • To encourage educational and cultural interaction between the people of the U.S. and Hungary;
  • And to support democratic institutions and economic development in Hungary.
Education and Culture
  • Co-sponsored in Budapest with DUNA Television on January 25 a Roundtable Discussion and Press Conference on “The Hungarian Status Law:  Historical Perspective and Current Ramifications.” The panel of seven Hungarian minority leaders spoke about the Status Law as it affects their respective communities included Miklós Duray (Slovakia), Bishop László Tőkés (Romania), Jozsef Kasza Vojvodina, (Serbia), László Brenzovics (Subcarpathia, Ukraine), Árpád Pasza (Croatia), and György Tomka (Slovania). Coalition Chairwoman, Edith Lauer, served as moderator of the two hour-long program.

  • Awarded scholarships by the Dr. Elemér Kiss Scholarship Fund totaling $3,000 to three Hungarian students pursuing graduate and/or undergraduate studies in US colleges and universities: Ms. Eszter Gulácsy at the University of California, Ms. Márta Murvai at the Lynn Conservatory of Music in Florida, and Mr. Zoltán Nagy at the University of Maryland.

  • Administered the Research Scholarship Fund underwritten by Dr. Charles Simonyi for the purpose of maintaining through 2005 the research scholarship program of the Foundation for Hungarian Higher Education and Research. Other Coalition partners were the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Hungarian Ministry of Education.

  • Cooperated with the Arany János Foundation for Sciences to establish The Charles Simonyi Prize for excellence in physics, and technical education and research. Two awards of $10,000 each will be presented for the next three years on Hungarian Science Day.

  • Supported projects that benefit cultural and educational institutions of Hungarian minorities in the neighboring countries:
    • Gave operational support to Madách Posonium Publisher of Pozsony (Bratislava), for publication of its weekly newspaper, Szabad Újság, four magazines, as well as for the maintenance of eight Hungarian bookstores in Slovakia.
    • Underwrote and organized the US visit of Tibor Beder, President, Székelyföld Foundation, of Romania.
Humanitarian Assistance
  • Provided funding for the purchase of a house in Raffajnaújfalu (Subcarpathia) to begin the operation of a much-needed Hungarian kindergarten in the town.
Information
  • Maintained an Information Office in Washington, D.C. since 1991.

  • Maintained regular contact with US Ambassador to Hungary, Nancy G. Brinker, regarding issues of concern to the Hungarian American community.

  • Initiated discussions in Washington, DC with newly appointed U.S. ambassadors, Michael Guest to Romania, Ronald Weiser to Slovakia, and William Montgomery to Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Throughout the year the Coalition provided information on developments affecting the daily life of the Hungarian minorities in the above-mentioned countries.

  • Coordinated a letter-writing campaign to the Romanian Prime Minister Nastase as well as US decision-makers, to provide information and focus attention on the unresolved issue of restoration of communal properties confiscated from Hungarian Churches in Romania.

  • Maintained regular contact with leaders of Hungarian minorities in Romania, Slovakia, Subcarpathia and Vojvodina, in order to gain insight and obtain timely information on events affecting the Hungarian minority communities of the region.

  • Provided timely information to the ongoing discussion of NATO enlargement to White House and State Department officials regarding the minority rights record of NATO-aspirant countries such as Romania and Slovakia.

  • Continued active participation in the Central and Eastern European Coalition and firmly advocated the need for the second round of NATO enlargement. In its resolution on NATO enlargement, the Coalition supported the invitation of aspirant nations that satisfy the membership criteria of the Alliance, particularly the protection of the rights of their ethnic minorities and national communities.

  • Continued to publish and disseminate News from Slovakia, a bimonthly newsletter that provides information to Washington decision-makers and members of the press on events that affect the daily life of the Hungarian minority in Slovakia.

  • Published four issues of the Hungarian American Coalition Newsletter, including the Special NATO Expansion Issue in July, and issued a dozen press releases.

  • Organized the traditional Coalition activities on December 6-7, 2002, in Washington, D.C., including a White House Briefing, the annual Mikulás Dinner, and the Board and Annual Meetings.

  • Maintained an e-mail network connecting Coalition members, and a home page on the World Wide Web (http://www.hungary.com/hac).
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