[lg policy] Szijjarto hails U.S. role in efforts to settle Hungary-Ukraine language row

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Thu May 31 10:22:23 EDT 2018

 Szijjarto hails U.S. role in efforts to settle Hungary-Ukraine language

13:20, 31 May 2018 Politics 122 0 According to the prime minister, the
United States contributed to the parties agreeing on holding in June a
meeting of an intergovernmental group. REUTERS REUTERS Hungary's Minister
of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto has noted the role of the
United States in resolving the language issue in Ukrainian-Hungarian
relations. As reported on the Hungarian foreign ministry's website,
Szijjarto met with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington. In
particular, he informed his American counterpart about the progress of
talks with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin on the Ukrainian law on
education. In this regard, it is reported that the Hungarian side is
focused on finding a solution in the language issue. The U.S. supports such
approach, the Hungarian Foreign Ministry said. Szijjarto noted that the
American administration was very active in resolving the language issue, in
particular, U.S. foreign policy officials had constantly been raising this
issue in talks with representatives of the Ukrainian government. According
to Szijjarto, without the assistance of the United States, on Tuesday the
parties would not have agreed on holding in June a meeting of an
intergovernmental group. It is also stressed that the Minister of Education
and Science of Ukraine invited for a meeting members of the Hungarian
community from Ukraine's Zakarpattia region, noting that the postponement
of the education law implementation until 2023 is now on the agenda of the
Ukrainian parliament, while the exclusion of private schools from the scope
of the law's application will be seen as a way forward. Szijjarto is
reported to have appealed to the U.S. side to "support the
Hungarian-Ukrainian talks in the near future and send a clear message to
Ukraine that minority issues are important and international law should be
respected despite geopolitical problems." Read alsoHungary offers Ukraine
to set up joint working group to monitor implementation of Venice
Commission's recommendations As UNIAN reported, Ukrainian Foreign Minister
Pavlo Klimkin earlier said that the Ministry of Education of Ukraine would
hold consultations with members of the Hungarian community from Ukraine's
Zakarpattia region on June 5. In April, Hungary for the third time blocked
the Ukraine-NATO Commission meeting at the ministerial level. Earlier, in
March, Szijjarto demanded that Ukraine amend the law on education and
postpone its implementation until 2023, otherwise he said Budapest would be
blocking all meetings important for Ukraine at the European Union and NATO
levels. In particular, he noted that Hungary would block the holding of the
Ukraine-NATO Commission meeting at the ministerial level in April, as well
as in July. Read alsoStoltenberg hopes Ukraine, Hungary able to find
solution in language row UNIAN memo. The new law on education, which
entered into force on September 28, 2017, introduces a 12-year secondary
education system in Ukraine with Ukrainian being used as the language of
tuition. Children of national minorities can be taught in their mother
tongue at classes (groups) along with the national language. Yet, Poland,
Romania, Hungary, Greece and Bulgaria expressed concern over the language
provisions of Article 7 of the law. The Venice Commission issued
recommendations on December 8, 2017, that the Ukrainian authorities should
balance the language provisions. On February 14, 2018, the Cabinet of
Ministers of Ukraine approved bill No. 8046, which provides for the
extension of the transition period until 2023 for the introduction of the
language provision of the education law. Now the draft law is under
consideration by parliamentary committees.

Read more on UNIAN:


 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com

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