Dispute between Ukraine and Hungary on education reform continues

Budapest and Kiev were unable to find common ground on the controversial Ukrainian education system reform during a bilateral meeting in Uzhgorod on 7 February, according to Hungarian Foreign Ministry. This statement directly contradicts an earlier declaration by the Ukrainian MFA, according to which progress was made towards an agreement.

The controversial law introduces Ukrainian as the mandatory language of tuition at Ukrainian secondary schools and allows national minorities to use their language only for specific subjects. Romania, Poland, Greece and Bulgaria also consider this step to be a restriction of the rights of their minorities, and the Venice Commission recommended the language provisions of the reform’s Article 7 be revised, a request the Rada said will address next spring. Besides its push to for the revision of the EU Association Agreement with Ukraine, Budapest also intends to block further integration of Ukraine in EU and NATO and vetoed the Ukraine-NATO Commission meeting, planned during the NATO Defence Ministers reunion of 14-15 February. Hungarian, Romanian, or Polish languages are not specifically targeted by Kiev, but are collateral victims of the de-Russification policies aiming to reverse centuries of cultural assimilation promoted by Kremlin through education, church, and public administration.

About author: Tomáš Hošek

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