Hungary offers Ukraine to set up joint working group to monitor implementation of Venice Commission's recommendations

12:00, 30 May 2018
Politics
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REUTERS

Hungary's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto says Hungary invites Ukraine to establish an intergovernmental working group to monitor the implementation of the recommendations of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) on languages in the education of national minorities in Ukraine.

"Hungary has no interest in a dispute, but in finally finding a solution to this situation, which is bad for everyone involved," he told the Hungarian media in New York on May 29, according to the Hungarian foreign ministry's website.

"Our goal is for Transcarpathian Hungarians to be given back the rights that they were previously afforded and guaranteed. Our goal is also to enable us to return to our policy, which in Ukraine's case was built on supporting our neighbors' European and Euro-Atlantic integration processes," he added.

"For this reason, Hungary is proposing to the Ukrainian Government that it establishes an intergovernmental working group that will be tasked with monitoring the implementation of the tasks that the Venice Commission has set down with relation to Ukraine," the minister said.

"The Venice Commission stipulated that the Ukrainian authorities must consult with national minorities and must refrain from restricting previously acquired rights," he stressed.

"Hungary is happy to work in cooperation with Ukraine in monitoring the implementation of the Venice Commission's decision, and is happy to assist Ukraine in this in the interests of assuring that the rights of the 150,000 Transcarpathian Hungarians are not violated in future," he added.

Read alsoUkraine and Hungary to hold talks on language provisions of education law in JuneAs UNIAN reported, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin earlier said that the Ministry of Education of Ukraine would hold consultations with members of the Hungarian community from Ukraine's Zakarpattia region on June 5.

In April, Hungary for the third time blocked the Ukraine-NATO Commission meeting at the ministerial level.

Earlier, in March, Szijjarto demanded that Ukraine amend the law on education and postpone its implementation until 2023, otherwise he said Budapest would be blocking all meetings important for Ukraine at the European Union and NATO levels.

In particular, he noted that Hungary would block the holding of the Ukraine-NATO Commission meeting at the ministerial level in April, as well as in July.

Read alsoStoltenberg hopes Ukraine, Hungary able to find solution in language rowUNIAN memo. The new law on education, which entered into force on September 28, 2017, introduces a 12-year secondary education system in Ukraine with Ukrainian being used as the language of tuition.

Children of national minorities can be taught in their mother tongue at classes (groups) along with the national language. Yet, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Greece and Bulgaria expressed concern over the language provisions of Article 7 of the law.

The Venice Commission issued recommendations on December 8, 2017, that the Ukrainian authorities should balance the language provisions.

On February 14, 2018, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved bill No. 8046, which provides for the extension of the transition period until 2023 for the introduction of the language provision of the education law. Now the draft law is under consideration by parliamentary committees.

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