The Hungarian community in Transylvania, flooded with financial support from Hungary. These are the biggest winners
Grants with a total worth of 47 billion forints have been awarded to organizations from Transylvania by the Bethlen Gabor Fund in 2018. The most consistent financial support went to the Sapientia University, the School Foundation, churches and football projects.
Last year marked a new record of the amount of grants awarded to organizations from Transylvania by the Bethlen Gábor Fund. The aggregate sum of 47 billion forints (148 million EUR) is slightly higher than the 46,6 billion of 2017. Thus the financial support of Hungarian communities living outside the borders of Hungary is increasing, the 1,2 million Hungarian community in Transylvania being one of the biggest beneficiaries of this trend.
By looking at the list of biggest recipients and the grants they received, one can remark that the repartition of grants was somewhat more balanced compared to the year before. At least the 2017 surprise, when the Reformed Church District in Transylvania received about 60 percent of the gross amount awarded to organizations in Transylvania, was not repeated.
It is important to note that the 47 billion forints awarded by the Bethlen Gabor Fund is likely to be only part of the financial support coming from the Hungarian government. Besides the Bethlen Gabor Fund, there are other government actors, as well as companies owned by the Hungarian government, that award grants to organizations of Hungarian communities living in other countries.
For example, the Sepsi OSK football team, as well as the Futball Klub Csíkszereda football academy is receiving important financial support through the Hungarian Football Federation.
Átlátszó Erdély Kövess minket vagy írj nekünk! A 2017-es rekordot túlszárnyalva 47 milliárd forintot ítélt meg erdélyi szervezetek számára 2018-ban a Bethlen Gábor Alap. A Sapientia-EMTE, az Iskola Alapítvány, az egyházak és a fociklubok kaptak milliárdos nagyságrendű támogatásokat. A 2017-es 46,6 milliárdnál (146 millió euró) valamivel többet, 47 milliárd forintot ítélt meg tavaly a Bethlen Gábor Alap erdélyi szervezeteknek.
Without an official aggregate, we can only have an educated guess
Because the Hungarian government does not have a public, easily searchable database containing every grant and sponsorship awarded to organizations abroad, we gathered some of the data ourselves. Because our data is likely not to be complete, we can only make an educated guess of the financial support received by these organizations.
In 2018, the most consistent financial support totaling 13,7 billion forints (43 million EUR) went to the Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania (Sapientia-EMTE). The university will spend most of this money on development of its campuses, as well as equipment.
The Hungarian Teacher’s Association of Romania (Romániai Magyar Pedagógus Szövetség) won a number of grants totaling 5 billion forints (15 million EUR). Its most important program aims the development of kindergartens: the organization received a total of 4,2 million forints for this purpose. About 500 million forints will be spent on real estate development and equipment.
The School Foundation (Iskola Alapítvány) founded by the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians from Romania (RMDSZ) received grants totaling 2,4 billion forints (7,5 million EUR) for buying real estate in Nagyvárad (Oradea) and Kolozsvár (Cluj-Napoca). The buildings will be transformed into multifunctional cultural centers. The total cost of the program is about 4 billion forints.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Oradea Mare was awarded 2,3 billion forints (7,2 million EUR) for the renovation works of the Episcopal palace in Oradea.
The Futball Klub Csíkszereda football academy received 2,1 billion forints (6,6 million EUR) for the functioning costs and development of the academy. The Sepsi OSK football team was awarded another 2,1 billion forints – our investigation into the football projects financed with Hungarian public funds can be accessed here.
The Királyhágómellék Reformed Church District received 2,1 billion forints: out of this grant, 1,7 billion will be spent on a kindergarten program. The Reformed Church District in Transylvania was awarded grants in amount of 1,8 billion forints; 1 billion will be spent on kindergartens.
The The Roman Catholic Diocese of Satu Mare received 1,7 billion forints, most of this grant will be invested in the development of the diocese. The Studium Prospero Foundation received 1,4 billion forints to continue its program of building housing for doctors.