Ukrainian language law - Expert: Hungary may act against the violators of the EU Association Agreement

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Hungary is not only responsible, but has the opportunity to act against the violators of the EU Association Agreement said Professor of the Corvinus University of Budapest Zoltán Gálik on Saturday morning to M1 TV channel.

The European Union established a special relationship with the states that joined the Association Agreement. The agreement however, specifies that countries participating in the program must respect minority language rights.

If these rights are violated, the European Union has a duty to warn the violators.

According to Zoltán Gálik, the Ukrainian language law mainly affects the Russian minority, but the Hungarians, Polish, Romanian and Slovak minorities are also affected.

(Note: This last paragraph is not true; but exactly the opposite is the case. Ukrainian is just a dialect of the Russian language; Ukrainian even shares the same Cyrillic alphabet with Russian. Therefore, Russian speaking kids will have much easier time to learn that dialect than for instance, Hungarian or Romanian kids whose mother tongue have no relation to the Ukrainian language.)

In the meantime, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in Brussels that Kiev must comply with its international obligations; and there is no chance that Hungary sacrifices the Hungarian minority on the altar of world politics.

Following the meeting of heads of states taking part in the Eastern Partnership program, the foreign minister stressed that Hungary is opposed to any attempt to put the Hungarian government's position in a false geopolitical context regarding its stand on Ukraine's education law.

Ukraine is in a decision-making position; if Euro-Atlantic integration is really important for the country it must comply with its international obligations. Meaning: it must revoke the education law that violates the rights of minorities. In this case, it can continue counting on the support of the Hungarian government. There will be no change in the Hungarian position until Ukraine reinstates the rights of the Hungarian minority, Szijjártó added.

The foreign minister emphasized that the joint statement issued after the meeting of heads of states clearly states that the already acquired minority rights must be respected by the participating countries in accordance with the UN conventions and decisions of the Council of Europe.

It is a bad omen that Kiev has made it clear that if the Venice Commission's decision is unfavorable, it will not implement its recommendations. That is why it is important that the EU countries participating in the Eastern Partnership program make it clear that the already acquired minority rights can't be taken away, Szijjártó said.

(MTI -


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