The Coalition’s Projects and Accomplishments in 2003

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
  • Cosponsored with the Department of State and the US Embassy in Budapest a successful three-week-long Public Policy Seminar in July that brought 22 Hungarian Parliamentarians to Washington for English language study and learning about American public policy issues and institutions. This innovative program, which included visits to Hungarian American community institutions, relied in large part on the active participation of Coalition members and supporters by providing home stays and social events for the three week-long program. The $80,000 cost of the project was underwritten by the cosponsors, the participants and generous Coalition supporters.

  • Awarded a scholarship by the Dr. Elemér Kiss Scholarship Fund in the amount of $2,000 to Janos Barbero, a remarkable 15 year-old Hungarian genius, who graduated from high school in Budapest at age 14, was accepted by eight U.S. universities, and is presently enrolled at the University of Washington in Seattle.

  • Continued the administration of 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 are the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Hungarian Ministry of Education.

  • Cooperated with the Arany János Foundation for Sciences to maintain 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 the Posonoium Literary Awards for outstanding achievements in Hungarian literature.

  • Underwrote and organized the US visit of Rev. Béla Kató, Deputy Bishop of the Erdelyi Reformed Church District, President of the Illyefalvi LAM Foundation of Romania, and President of the Board of Sapientia Foundation.

  • Provided funding to the Amoba Training Center in Sepsisentgyorgy, Romania, for publication of an instructional manual in Hungarian to be used for computer training at the Center.
Information
  • Operated an Office of Information in Washington, D.C. since 1991. The Office was relocated in June, 2003, to 1120 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 280, Washington, DC 20036.

  • Provided up-to-date information on issues of interest to Coalition members to officials of the National Security Council, the State Department, and members of Congress. Communicated the deep concern of our community to Secretary of State Colin Powell in November on the occasion of the visit of Romanian President Iliescu about the serious difficulties that continue to prevent the restitution of Hungarian church properties confiscated by the communist regimes.

  • Maintained contact with US Embassy officials in Hungary; and established contact with new U.S. Ambassador George Herbert Walker, as well as U.S. officials newly appointed in the Fall.

  • Continued contact with U.S. Ambassador Michael Guest to Romania as well as new Embassy personnel; facilitated meetings for officials with ethnic Hungarian leaders. 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 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.

  • Attended conferences in Hungary and Romania that dealt with timely minority-rights issues, including dual citizenship for Hungarians, and the aspirations for autonomy of Hungarian communities in Romania and Serbia. Several Coalition members attended the prominent World Science Forum, a meeting of 300 scientists and civic leaders from 80 countries that focused on the topic of „Science and Society.”

  • By year-end, the Coalition published three issues of the Hungarian American Coalition Newsletter, including the Special Edition on „Property Restitution and Majority-Minority Relations in Romania,” and will have issued a dozen press releases.

  • Will organize the traditional Coalition activities on December 5-6, 2003, in Washington, D.C., including the White House Briefing, the annual Mikulás Dinner, and the Board and Annual Meetings.

  • Redesigned and updated the Coalition’s home page (www.hacusa.org).
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