The committee of the representatives of Hungary’s national minorities voted to support the recent parliamentary decree that condemns Ukraine’s new education law, at its meeting on Tuesday.
The body supported the five-party decree that was passed by Hungary’s parliament in a unanimous vote a week ago with 11 votes in favour and two abstentions. The decree states that the new law, which bans post-primary-level education in minority languages, is “unlawful” and seriously restricts the rights of Ukraine’s Hungarian community to education and use of their mother tongue. It also urges measures to be taken against it.
The committee of national minorities said in a statement that they support the parliamentary decree “with a particular view to the fact” that the new Ukrainian law seriously restricts the rights of the Armenian, Bulgarian, German, Greek, Polish, Roma, Romanian and Slovak communities in that neighbouring country as well.
The representative of Ukrainian minorities, Jaroslava Hartyanyi, abstained from voting, and said that although the new education law was “rather well designed” and introduces reforms, one of its provisions, article 7, restricts already acquired minority rights which she called “unacceptable”.
She said she believed that as a result of international pressure and bilateral talks, the contested provision would be removed from the law.
She further noted that Hungary’s Ukrainian community had appealed to the Ukrainian president asking Petro Poroshenko “via every possible channel” not to sign the law and also stated their solidarity with the Hungarian community in Transcarpathia/Kárpátalja.
She asked other committee members for patience and understanding, saying
she “needed to have a bridge standing” which would allow her “to connect Ukrainians and Hungarians”.
As we wrote, Ukrainian President Petro Porosenko was signing the law yesterday, and the Hungarian Fm said: “We can guarantee that all of this will hurt Ukraine in the future.”