A united single camp. Tusványos turns thirty!
In the beginning, in the last days of the year 1989 it was only an idea. It came from the West, from the misty Albion, as so many other things those days, and ever since. David Campanale brought it with him, carried it as a sweet burden. The journalist of the BBC dreamed of a real solidarity created among Hungarian, Transylvanian and British youth. It took only two days for the embryonic idea to take roots.
The signatories to the first document substantiating the idea was formulated in Kézdivásárhely (drafted on 31st December 1989) as follows: “We, the young democrats of the countries of Britain, Hungary and Romania express our common ideas and ambitions. Europe is still divided. A uniform continent can not be perceived without the Central and Eastern Europe region. Make all efforts to eliminate any residues of the Iron Curtain”.
It turns out from the memories of the English journalist 25 years later that he searched for the values of Christian Democracy instead of Liberal Democracy by the year 1989, and this was the core element of his speeches made in Székelyföld.
What else can be added to all this? At any rate, we do not think otherwise today. The first words of the ‘new born baby’ could not be more timely any time other when now, thirty years later, the efforts, ambitions and endeavours of the Central and Eastern Europe region are still the same, and we still have to struggle with the elimination of the residues of the Iron Curtain. When Europe is still divided, but with the more and more decisive weight of the Visegrad and neighbouring countries. And without Tusványos, where the Central and Eastern European Christian Democracy was reborn, this weight, would not count just as much, as we are able to experience day to day recently.
These thirty years are our power, there is only one camp and the flag is the same. Let’s fly it henceforward, to the pleasure of all, here at the banks of the Olt river, where it has grown together what belong together, and which could even be called not so long ago the middle of the world!
The programmes of the Bálványos Summer University and Student Camp take place each year in July, organised by the Pro Minoritate Foundation and Hungarian Youth Council.
The Bálványos Summer University and Student Camp is an international event seen as the forum of the cross border cooperation and political dialogue, contrasting Hungarian and Romanian aspects and considerations in public issues. The purpose of the summer university is to discuss the problems accompanying the social transformation process of our respective countries openly, honestly and freely. Invited speakers usually debate current issues at the presentations which concern both countries.
In line with the purpose of the summer university, lecturers include representatives of all three sides, the parent country, Romanian Hungarian and Romanian, a number of well known and acknowledged politicians, experts. Scheduled speeches affect the fields of economy, energy policy, environmental protection, Hungarian higher education in the Carpathian-basin, culture and sports, besides timely discussions on national politics. Over the years, we managed to develop this camp into a forum where Hungarian and Romanian youth from this side and yonder might take the opportunity to look for solutions and ideas to current issues.
Lectures are held in tents, at various times, so that the more than 80 000 participants could dissolve among the programmes as they want. Together with more than thirty partner organisations, we welcome participants interested in the timely topics of public life, longing for substantial entertainment and high standard concerts with a rich offering of programmes during the five days of the summer university. More than three hundred invited speakers hold lectures on 28 locations and a number of accompanying programmes you can choose from during the day and in the night. Among others, book launches, theatre plays, activities offered by various institutions and organisations, and in the evening, many party tents wait the Tusványosians. Following the lectures across the day, night concerts feature many renowned inland and cross border bands, thus ensuring the possibility of entertainment and relaxation at the cultural programmes.
Determinant personalities of public life in Transylvania, and the Carpathian-basin – politicians, civilians, the clergy, academia, men of letters, economic and health specialists, artists – are all present in the camp. In line with the nature of the Programme as a political workshop, invited speakers hold lectures on the current social and political issues of the youth in the Carpathian-basin, creating an opportunity to substantial discussions and constructive dialogues. Young people from Sub-Carpathia, the Highland and Voivodina, and representatives of European youth organisations participate in the camp, thus ensuring ongoing networking. According to our hopes, the networking nature of the summer university will be enhanced further which is proven by the presence of the students present from this side and the other side of the border, and the permanent participation of many civil organisations.
Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary is a recurrent participant of the event at the Bálványos Summer University and Student Camp with the most intensive interest from year to year. The customary round table discussion is watched by crowds on the spot, which can be attributed – among others – to the fact that Viktor Orbán, the Prime Minister of Hungary makes important statements from year to year.
We keep in mind the goal, put in words thirty years ago, but timely still: to discuss the problems accompanying the social transformation process of our respective countries openly, honestly and freely. Over the years, we managed to develop this camp into a forum where Hungarian and Romanian youth from this side and yonder might take the opportunity to look for solutions and ideas to current issues, thus promoting the development of relations and exchange of experiences between Hungarian and cross border youth.
The lectures in the morning sessions usually set forth current topics affecting both countries with the help of invited guest speakers. In line with the purpose of the summer university, lecturers include representatives of all three sides, the parent country, Romanian Hungarian and Romanian, a number of well known and acknowledged politicians, experts.
In the afternoons, programmes are compiled to meet the needs of university students and specialists from humanities, where renowned experts and university professors or young research scientists are given the opportunity to conduct discussions, free conversations, or hold lectures as invited guest speakers. At the same time, this pillar includes also the multitude of sports events and contests, running in parallel with the lectures, thus offering an alternative to participants.
Daily lectures are followed by cultural programmes providing entertainment for the evening, where domestic and cross border Hungarian groups provide the music from Hungary, or other regions of the Carpathian-basin. Each night different styles and trends, as well as new bands, winners of talent competitions in Transylvania are provided the opportunity, to meet a wide range of needs.