Hrynevych asks Hungarian Ambassador to resume consultations with Hungarian community reps on instruction language
Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine Liliia Hrynevych is concerned about the termination of consultations with the Hungarian community of Zakarpattia on the language of instruction and asked Hungarian Ambassador to Ukraine Erno Keskeny to unblock this process.
"We are very concerned that the Hungarian community has stopped any consultations with us, and the leader of the Hungarian community informed us in an official letter that they do not want to participate in the consultation process, because now they are waiting for the decision of the Constitutional Court .... I publicly ask you, the Ambassador of Hungary to Ukraine, to kindly help us ... unblock this situation," Hrynevych said at the 11th Kyiv Security Forum on Friday.
She recalled that 48 deputies, mainly from the Opposition Bloc faction, applied to the Constitutional Court on this issue, which can take a decision only after two years.
In turn Keskeny said that he supports the actions of the Hungarian community. "We support the Hungarian community in Zakarpattia, we know that it is ready to continue negotiations, but we must first get the decision of the Constitutional Court," he said.
Hrynevych expressed confidence that it would be possible to find a mutually acceptable solution.
She also said that Ukraine is ready to implement all the recommendations of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) on this issue. "I would like to assure all our partners ... We have already proposed a road map for the introduction of each recommendation of the Venice Commission ... The Cabinet has already approved the draft amendments to the transition period, expanded the transition period from two to five years," Hrynevych said.
As reported, the Ukrainian law on education came into force on September 28, 2017. Among other things, the law stipulates that the state language is a language of learning at educational institutions, but one or several subjects in two or more languages, namely, the state language, English and other European Union official languages can be taught in compliance with the educational program. People who belong to ethnic minorities are guaranteed the right for learning in the native language along with the Ukrainian language in separate groups of municipal pre-school and primary school institutions.
On September 26, Hungary's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade announced it would block Ukraine's rapprochement with the European Union because of the law on education. Ukraine's Foreign Ministry sent the law to the Venice Commission for vetting. On December 8, the Ukrainian Education and Science Ministry reported that the Venice Commission had not supported Hungary's accusation of narrowing the rights of national minorities in the article on the language of instruction in Ukraine's law on education. Ukraine's Ministry of Education and Science declared its readiness to implement the recommendations of the commission and developed three models for the implementation of the language article in the law "On General Secondary Education."