Sep 15, 2017

37 MEPs sign letter calling for Ukraine's president to scrap new education law impacting minorities

Fidesz-KDNP MEP Andrea Bocskor drafted the open letter to the Ukrainian president which was signed by 37 MEPs from Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland and Slovakia

Thirty-seven MEPs have signed a letter expressing their concerns over the Ukranian education law impacting minorities in the country and have urged Petro Poroshenko to not sign off on it.

Fidesz-KDNP MEP Andrea Bocskor drafted the open letter to the Ukrainian president which was signed by 37 MEPs, including those from Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland and Slovakia.

The MEPs called the Ukrainian president’s attention to the fact that Article 7 in the new education law is wrong, goes against the country’s international commitments and restricts acquired human rights.

The letter refers to the fact that the new law is in conflict with international agreements ratified by Ukraine with the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages; Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, as well as with certain parts of the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement.

The representatives pointed out that Article 7 abolishes the right of Hungarians, Romanians, Bulgarians, Poles and Slovaks living in Ukraine to study in their national language on every level of the education system, which has been an established practice for decades.

The new law will lead to the abolishment of 120 Romanian, 100 Hungarian, and 5 Polish nationality schools in Ukraine.

Minorities make up 20 percent of the country’s population and the law restricts them from the freedom of choice concerning language of education and to study in their mother tongue.

“It’s important that the European Union takes concrete steps against the Ukrainian process of narrowing human rights, because, besides the mother countries of the affected Ukrainian minorities, EU leaders may have a positive effect in turning back the decision, which is disadvantageous for national minorities," said Fidesz-KDNP MEP Andrea Bocskor.