EducationForeign Affairs

Hungarian Foreign Ministry Summons Ukrainian Ambassador Over “Shameful And Disgraceful” Education Law

Hungary’s Foreign Minister has summoned the ambassador of Ukraine for Monday to state Hungary’s objections to Ukraine’s “shameful and disgraceful” education law amendment impacting minorities, the Hungarian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

In response to the amendment, Péter Szijjártó has issued a directive under which Hungarian diplomats would not support any initiative by Ukraine in international organisations or decisions benefiting that country, the statement said. Hungary will also raise the subject at UN, OSCE and EU forums, the statement said. The statement noted that the Ukrainian legislation curbs minorities’ rights to use their mother tongue in education. It added that the Foreign Ministry’s measures have also been prompted by an “unacceptable response” given by the Ukrainian Foreign Minister at Hungary’s inquiry at a recent informal meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Tallinn.

Under the new Ukrainian law, secondary school and higher education courses will only be available in Ukrainian, while education in minority languages are restricted to kindergartens and primary schools. The official aim of the reform is to “bring Ukrainian education closer to European standards“, however, the new law is also expanding the role of the Ukrainian language in education, as opposed to Russian and other minority languages, including Hungarian.

According to the latest census, around 150000 ethnic Hungarians live in Transcarpathia, a region which had belonged to Hungary before the First World War, to Czechoslovakia in the interwar period and to the Soviet Union following the Second World War, and which has become part of the independent Ukraine in 1991. In recent years, tens of thousands of ethnic Hungarians in Ukraine have been naturalised.

via hungarymatters.hu and MTI