Ukraine’s new education law fails to “strike a balance” between their official language and those of minorities, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has stated.
PACE said that the new law is not conducive to “living together” and expressed its concerns over the articles relating to education in minority languages in the recently passed act.
The council highlighted how it “entails a heavy reduction in the rights previously recognized to ‘national minorities’ concerning their own language of education.”
The document was supported by 82 members of 110 who voted. Only 11 opposed it, 17 others abstained.
“[T]he Council of Europe protected the existing minority education system in Ukraine.,” said Zsolt Németh, chairman of the Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee.
While Hungary’s foreign minister said the two countries have “completely different” positions concerning the proposal which would deprive older students from ethnic minorities of education in their mother tongue.
Péter Szijjártó, minster of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said Ukraine’s Hungarian community did not support the contested package.
“Hungary does not want a fight but an agreement,” he said. Hungarians in Transcarpathia, in western Ukraine, should be handed back their rights, he added.
“As long as the local Hungarian community is unhappy with the situation, Hungary will insist on its decision not to support Ukraine in international organizations,” Minister Szijjártó added.