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Sep 29, 2017

Hungary continues its fight over Ukraine's controversial education law

Hungary’s foreign minister has said that the government will fight to get Ukraine’s new education law repealed and its language and citizenship bills withdrawn

Hungary’s foreign minister has said that the government will fight to get Ukraine’s new education law repealed and its language and citizenship bills withdrawn.

Péter Szijjártó, minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, made the remarks after an event organized by the American Chamber of Commerce on Thursday.

“Hungary wants to ask for the revocation of Ukraine’s already adopted Education Act, and the Language and Nationality acts that are currently before Kiev’s Parliament,” the minister said.

“There are two other ‘dangerous’ bills currently before Ukrainian Parliament, one being the Language Act, which strictly restricts language use on the part of minorities, while the other would seriously sanction dual nationality,” he added.

Ukraine’s new education law states that its aim is to “modernize education”, through reforms to be introduced from September 2018. The 7th paragraph of the law states that Ukraine’s official language in education is Ukrainian and the use of minority languages is allowed only in the first four grades of primary education.

Minister Szijjártó also said that negotiations with CEU are ongoing, and expressed his hope that the parties will succeed in coming to an agreement.

“We have already come to a successful agreement with the Chinese university operating in Hungary, and a Chinese delegation will be arriving in Budapest in the second half of October to sign the agreement on the continued operation of the university in Hungary,” he said.

“I very much hope that we succeed in coming to an agreement with CEU on every important issue before the deadline set down by law,” the minister said. “This has only one prerequisite: CEU must also abide by the stipulations of the Act on Higher Education,” he added.