According to estimates by the Croatian local self-governing authorities in Hungary there are approximately between 40,000 and 50,000 Croats living in Hungary; in the Baranja and Podravina region (Pécs, Mohács, Siklós), in the Bačka region (Baja, Aljmaš, Kalac), along the Hungarian-Austrian border (Sopron, Jur, Szombathely , Kiseg), in the vicinity of Kaniža, and in Budapest itself. The Bunjevci, Šokci, Raci Croats, the Dalmatian and the Burgenland Croats, the Pomurski Croats, the Podravina Croats, as well as the Bosnian Croats have, over the long centuries, enriched not only their own culture, but also the cultural heritage of Hungary.
According to the census of 2001 and based on the declaration regarding their nationality, there is a total number of 29,965 Croats, whereas based on the use of the Croat language and the Croat mother tongue, there are 15,620 Croats in Hungary.
Croats in Hungary have a very rich history. Their roots are deeply embedded in the soil of this region. By their culture and their language, they represent the most diverse Croatian minority living outside Croatia. Each ethnic group of Hungarian Croats is autochthone. Some of these Croat minorities migrated to various parts of Hungary during the Turkish invasions of the Croatian lands, or during the Turkish occupation of the central part of the former Hungary, or for that matter, after the liberation of these regions from the Ottoman rule within the time span stretching from the 15th to 18th century. Today‘s Croats in Hungary are the Burgenland, Pomurski and Danubian Croats, while the Podravska Croats came probably during the migration of Croats in the early Middle Ages.
The relationship between Croatia and Hungary is successfully developing in all fields. Both countries are committed to good neighborly relations, membership to the Central European region, both having similar approach to the international situation, as well as same commitment to the protection and improvement of the status of their national minorities respectively.
Croats in Hungary are protected by the Constitution of the Republic of Hungary, whose Article 68 stipulates the rights of historical minorities as constituent factors in the Republic of Hungry, as well as the Law on National and Ethnic Minorities, i.e. # LXXVII, adopted in 1993. Hungary is a cosignatory of the documents of the Council of Europe regarding the protection of minorities: the Convention pertaining to the protection of National Minorities as well as a signatory to the European Charter of Regional and Minority Languages. Moreover, it is also signed the Instrument, the SEI, pertaining to the rights of the minorities.
The Agreement between the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Hungary pertaining to the protection of the Hungarian minority in Croatia and the Croatian minority in the Republic of Croatia, was signed on April 5, 1995 in Osijek. Due to the implementation procedure of the provisions of this Agreement, a mixed Croatian-Hungarian committee at the governmental level, in charge of the Minorities, is scheduled to convene once a year. The content and the application of this Agreement pertaining to the protection of the minorities are at the highest European level.
On July 2, 2008 the 10th session of the Croatian-Hungarian Joint Committee for the implementation of the protection of the minorities in Croatia and Hungary was held in Budapest, whereby the recommendations of the two governments were adopted. Croats in Hungary do not have a parliamentary representative, nor do they have their own political party.
Associations, publishing and media
The Croatian local self-governing authorities (HDS) / www.horvatok.hu/ is a legitimate political and administrative body representing Croats living in Hungary. During the election for the self-governing body, held in 2006, 115 local Croatian minority self-governing councils were established. The Alliance of Croats in Hungary (SHM) is an umbrella organization consisting of social networks of regional associations. Furthermore, in Pecs, the Scientific Institute of Croatians in Hungary (www.mhti.hu) is active, as well as the Croatian theater (the only professional theater outside the Republic of Croatia) www.horvatszinhaz.hu/. In the locality of Prisika the Museum of Sacred Art of Croatians in Hungary (www.croatica.hu) was established. Moreover, Croats in Hungary also have numerous clubs, cultural clubs, and signing choirs ...
In 2005 the Cultural and educational center in Vlasici, on the island of Pag was opened. This is a unique example of the cooperation between the two countries, both being cosignatories of the bilateral agreement on the protection of national minorities. The government of Croatia, in the capacity of the real estate owner, handed over the location to Croat Hungarian local self-governing authorities, with the agreement for usage rights over the period of the next 20 years. The center is of great importance for the Croatian minority in Hungary and other European countries as it fosters, in a systematic and professional manner, the educational programs for the youth, particularly in the realm of Croatian language training and the adoption of the Croatian cultural heritage. ”The Croatian Day” in Hungary, organized by the HDS and SHM, was held for the first time in 2000 in Szombathely, and ever since it has regularly been held every year in a different region.
The Croatian self-governing body and the Union of Croats in Hungary issue the weekly "Hrvatski glasnik" (www.croatica.hu), while the HDS issues "Hrvatski calendar” and the quarterly "Bilten. “ A non-profit society "Croatica" (www.croatica.hu) is a cultural, informational and publishing house, based in Budapest. It prints books, magazines, and literary works of Croatian writers, anthologies, and monographs. In Pecs, the Croatian editorial board of the Hungarian radio and the Croatian editorial board of the Hungarian Television, broadcast programs in the Croatian language. The Internet radio Croatica (www.croatica.hu) also broadcasts programs in the Croatian language.