European Commission officials have approved adding Ukraine’s new education law to the agenda of the EU-Ukraine Association Council’s December session, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said after a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg on Monday.
Ukraine “is committing a gross violation of minority rights”, Szijjártó said, adding that the country’s new education law was in breach of Ukraine’s association agreement with the EU.
Szijjártó said that at the meeting he had asked the EU-Ukraine Association Council to declare that
under the association agreement, Kiev has a duty to continually strengthen minority rights.
Neither European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini nor European Neighbourhood Policy Commissioner Johannes Hahn had any objections to this, the minister added.
Earlier on the sidelines of the meeting, Szijjártó told journalists that
Ukraine’s education law was also in violation of human rights.
He said the law, which bans post-primary-level education in minority languages, would make the continued operations of 71 Hungarian-language schools in western Ukraine’s Transcarpathia region impossible.
Szijjártó said the Hungarian government is ready to discuss the law with Ukraine, adding at the same time, that the success of any such talks hinged on Ukraine repealing or at least suspending the implementation of elements of the law “that severely violate” minority rights.