Klimkin invites EU ambassadors to Zakarpattia region over Hungary's position on education law
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin on Tuesday, October 10, invited Ukraine’s European partners to visit Zakarpattia region in connection with Hungary's position on the language provisions of the new law on education.
"I invite our European partners to visit Zakarpattia. I plan that the visit of foreign ambassadors to this region will take place as well as their direct communication with its residents," Klimkin wrote on Twitter.
As UNIAN reported earlier, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has refused to meet with Klimkin in Zakarpattia region to discuss the language provisions of the Ukrainian education law, according to Magyar Nemzet, a major Hungarian newspaper.
On October 9, Szijjarto visited the city of Uzhgorod to meet with heads of organizations of Zakarpattia's Hungarians. At the same time, considering that Klimkin had repeatedly proposed a joint visit to Zakarpattia region to discuss the education law, Szijjarto said that his Ukrainian counterpart was late with the proposal, and the meeting with the Zakarpattia Hungarians should have taken place before the adoption of the law.
Read also"Theatrical performance": Klimkin on Zeman’s statement on "selling out Crimea"While in Uzhgorod, Szijjarto announced his intention to initiate the review of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement over the language provisions of Ukraine’s new Law on Education.
In turn, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin on October 10 emphasized that Ukraine would agree to the review of the Association Agreement only with the aim of fixing Ukraine’s European prospects.
In case the meeting with Szijjarto is held, Klimkin will raise the issue of issuing Hungarian passports to Ukrainian citizens.
Read alsoHungary may insist on adding Ukraine's education law issue in final EaP declaration – journalistOn September 29, Hungarian Ambassador to Ukraine Erno Keskeny announced Klimkin’s visit to Budapest scheduled for October 12.
UNIAN memo. Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada on September 5 adopted the new law on education as part of the country's education reform.
According to the law, persons belonging to national minorities of Ukraine are guaranteed the right to study in public education institutions with the language of a respective minority as the language of instruction, along with the state language. Persons who belong to the indigenous peoples, national minorities of Ukraine, who have started to receive general secondary education before September 1, 2018, shall continue to receive such education by September 1, 2020, in accordance with the rules enforced before the new law becomes effective, with a gradual increase in the number of classes taught in Ukrainian.
Foreign ministries of several countries, including Romania, expressed concern about the language norms of the law on education in respect to representatives of national minorities.
Read alsoUkraine’s education minister "disappointed" with Hungary’s will to block Kyiv’s path to EU, says will hold talks with counterpartIn turn, the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine assured that the language provisions of the new law did not violate the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.
Language-related Article 7 of the education law was sent to the Venice Commission late in September for expert evaluation. Its conclusion on the article is expected by December.
Read alsoHungary on Ukrainian education law: "This will be painful for Ukraine"Szijjarto later announced his country's intention to block any further rapprochement between Ukraine and the EU over the language row.
Klimkin tweeted on October 9 to invite Szijjarto to a joint visit to Zakarpattia region to discuss the language provisions of the education law.