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Oct 17, 2017

EC puts Ukraine’s new education law on agenda of next EU-Ukraine session

Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said Ukraine “is committing a gross violation of minority rights” by implementing its new education law

The European Commission has approved adding Ukraine’s new education law to the agenda of the EU-Ukraine Association Council’s December session.

Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said Ukraine “is committing a gross violation of minority rights” by implementing its new education law. The minister said the law was in breach of Ukraine’s association agreement with the EU.

During a meeting with EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg, Minister Szijjártó said that he had asked the EU-Ukraine Association Council to declare that under the association agreement, Kiev has a duty to continually strengthen minority rights.

According to MTI, neither European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini nor European Neighbourhood Policy Commissioner Johannes Hahn had any objections.

Minister Szijjártó said that Ukraine’s education law was also in violation of human rights. He said the law, which bans post-primary-level education in minority languages, would make the continued operations of 71 Hungarian-language schools in western Ukraine’s Transcarpathia region impossible.

The minister said the Hungarian government is ready to discuss the law with Ukraine, and the success of any such talks hinged on Ukraine repealing or at least suspending the implementation of elements of the law “that severely violate” minority rights.