Weekly newsletter

Transcarpathian Organization Acknowledges Progress in New Law on Minorities

MTI-Hungary Today 2023.12.19.

The Hungarian Cultural Association of Transcarpathia (KMKSZ) welcomes the adoption of the new Ukrainian law regulating the rights of minorities, but according to a statement issued by the organization’s presidium, the law “still does not comply with all the recommendations of the Venice Commission,” and does not restore the minority rights that existed before.

Some provisions of the law “can be considered as a step forward,

as they restore some of the linguistic rights previously enjoyed by the Hungarian minority,”

mainly in the areas of education, production, and distribution of printed materials and media.

It stresses that in drafting the legislation, “certain recommendations of the Venice Commission were taken into account and national minority organizations were consulted.”

A significant advancement is that the right of minorities, including Hungarians, to education in their mother tongue is guaranteed by Article 7 of the Education Act. It is also positive that children who started their Hungarian-language schooling before the 2018 academic year will be able to continue their studies in Hungarian until the end of secondary school.

However, the KMKSZ regrets that

the new law still does not allow minority language use at higher administrative units (districts, counties),

and that the “application of language rights at the level of self-government” is still “subject to majority decision.”

According to the declaration, the law links the possibility of applying language rights to the concept of “traditional minority settlement,” which is defined as 10 percent. Thus, minorities living in dispersed areas “have practically no language rights, which further accelerates the process of assimilation,” the organization says.

The law does not provide for the free use of national symbols and “does not provide for conditions for minority representation.”

Several provisions of the law are discriminatory or purely declaratory, which could be open to arbitrary interpretation. The definition of several terms remains unclear, raising further questions, in particular with regard to the enforcement of mother tongue education “alongside the state language.”

The law still does not comply with all the recommendations of the Venice Commission, does not guarantee the rights of minorities as guaranteed in the Constitution and other international documents, “and does not restore the full scope of minority rights as they existed before.”

The KMKSZ hoped that the new law “is only the first step towards restoring full respect for the national minority rights previously enjoyed by the Hungarians of Transcarpathia.”

Ukrainian Parliament Passes Law Reversing Violation of Minority Rights
Ukrainian Parliament Passes Law Reversing Violation of Minority Rights

The Russian community, meanwhile, has been further penalized.Continue reading

Via MTI; Featured Image: Facebook / Kárpátaljai Magyar Kulturális Szövetség

    [1536x1536] => Array
            [width] => 1536
            [height] => 1536
            [crop] => 

    [2048x2048] => Array
            [width] => 2048
            [height] => 2048
            [crop] =>