Hungary files complaint with EU over minority rights in Ukraine — media

Flag of Hungary
Flag of Hungary

Hungary has lodged a complaint with the member states of the European Union regarding alleged "rights violations" of the Hungarian national minority in Ukraine, Radio Svoboda reported on March 15.

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The document underscores the importance of protecting national minorities for Ukraine's EU accession. Hungary demands the restoration of Hungarian minority rights to pre-2015 levels. This includes the reinstatement of the right to freely use the Hungarian language and to political representation at regional and national levels.

There are currently 20,000 students with Hungarian as the language of instruction in Ukrainian schools, however, the subjects that should be taught in Ukrainian in Hungarian minority schools have not yet been determined.

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Approximately 20,000 students in Ukrainian schools are currently taught in Hungarian. However, there remains ambiguity regarding which subjects should be taught in Ukrainian in Hungarian minority schools.

After the reformatting of administrative districts in Ukraine, the population ratio in the region has changed. Hungary believes that the requirement for a mandatory 10% ratio, which national minorities must reach among the local population to qualify for language rights, "is not justified in the case of national minorities."

Hungary demands the appointment of a Hungarian delegate to the Ukrainian Parliament to ensure political representation. It also advocates for the allowance of the national language's use during election campaigns, referendums, and public life.

Ukraine has not issued any official response to the document.

Hungary's demands could become a significant obstacle to Ukraine's accession to the EU.

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Hungary has been blocking Kyiv’s cooperation with NATO for years, claiming a "policy of violating the rights of national minorities."

The bill on national minorities is one of the main requirements for the start of negotiations on Ukraine's membership in the European Union. In December 2022, it was adopted in its entirety, but the EU’s Venice Commission was not fully satisfied and recommended revising a number of provisions, most of which relate to the use of minority languages.

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