The new YEN member organisation – the Slovakian minority in Hungary, OSMM (MASZFISZ)

The youth organisation of the Slovakian minority in Hungary, OSMM applied for membership at the Youth of European Nationalities in September 2012. They sent all the necessary documents on time, (3 months before the General Assembly) and the visit took place on 17 March 2013.
“Magyarországi Szlovák Fiatalok Szervezete (MASZFISZ)“ is the Hungarian name of the organisation, and “Organizácia slovenskej mládeže v Maďarsku (OSMM)“ is the Slovakian name.

András Kiszely, president of the organisation, met for the study visit with Petra Törteli, Convenor for Enlargement, in the House of Slovakian Culture in Békéscsaba, where the organisation also has its office. Békéscsaba is a city in the south eastern part of Hungary, near the Romanian border.

After visiting the house, which is a very important institution in the life of OSMM, and also for the other Slovakian minority organisation in Békéscsaba, András gave a presentation about the organisation. He told about the history of the minority, about the projects they had in the past, also how they have changed, and how they work nowadays. He also presented their plans for future projects. The organisation was founded in 1990, and in the first few years they organised a lot of projects for the youth of their minority, such as literature camps, meetings for the Slovakian youth all around Hungary, visits to Slovakia and a youth academy.

Over the years, it has been getting harder to organise financing for the projects. This is the reason why OSMM lost members, as they could not organise many projects anymore, and it also got harder to get new members. In the years before 2009 they even considered disbanding OSMM. In 2009, after the new board was elected, they started to rebuild the organisation. Their financial situation became stable again through government funding and the support of the Slovakian Council in Hungary.

They have two main projects every year; “Day of the Slovaks”, the meeting of the members of the Slovakian minority from all over Hungary. Here the participants have the possibility for networking and also to get to know some elements of Slovakian culture. The second project is the Slovakian Youth Academy.

The cooperation with other minorities is also a very important issue for OSMM. They have been participating in some GJU projects for a number of years, and they also signed a partnership agreement with GJU in 2012. Members of OSMM also represented their minority at the EUROPEADA 2012.

In the course of the General Assembly of YEN in March 2013, OSMM was incorporated into the Youth of European Nationalities as an extraordenary member. It gives us great pleasure to welcome OSMM (Organizácia slovenskej mládeže v Maďarsku) as an official member organisation of the YEN. We are looking forward to a successful collaboration!