The Ukrainian legislature should follow the European Commission’s proposals on the treatment of national minorities, says the state secretary for national policy. According to János Árpád Potápi, the new law is a step backward.
State Secretary for National Policy János Árpád Potápi called it regrettable that the president of Ukraine signed the new law on national minorities, which further restricts the rights of national communities, including Hungarians, living in Transcarpathia, Ukraine.
While Hungary is carrying out the largest humanitarian aid operation in its history to help refugees from Ukraine, the rights of national minorities in Ukraine are being further restricted,
he pointed out.
He noted that the European Commission, in its opinion on June 17, 2022 on granting candidate status to Ukraine, made seven recommendations to Ukraine. According to the Commission, Ukraine should “finalize the reform of the legal framework for national minorities currently under preparation as recommended by the Venice Commission, and adopt immediate and effective implementation mechanisms.”
According to the State Secretary, the Ukrainian legislature has not taken into account the recommendations of the European Commission and has not engaged in a meaningful dialogue with national minorities. He added that the new law also contains a number of steps backward compared to the 1992 law on national minorities.
Potápi stressed that Hungary understands and supports Ukraine’s EU integration efforts, but draws attention to the fact that the laws adopted in the course of the integration process must be based on European values and international standards. He said Hungary’s government hopes that until the new law is adopted, “Ukraine will continue to work on the text of the adopted law on the basis of the recommendations of the national minorities living on its territory and the Venice Commission, and will create a law that will demonstrate beyond doubt its commitment to the European Union and to the guarantee of national minority rights.”
Featured photo via Facebook/Potápi Árpád János