Kiev violated core principles of European Union Association Agreement, EU must also take action

 The amended Ukrainian education legislation constitutes a curtailment of the rights of the minorities living in the country, and Ukraine thereby violated the core principles of the Association Agreement entered into with the European Union which entered into force a few days ago, Katalin Szili, the Prime Minister’s Special Appointee stated, stressing that under the circumstances the EU, too, must forthwith contact the Kiev leadership.

In the communication which the State Secretariat for Nation Policy at the Prime Minister’s Office sent to the Hungarian news agency MTI on Sunday, Mrs Szili stressed: the Ukrainian legislature adopted a measure that violates fundamental human rights when it passed the law which deprives members of the national communities living in the country’s territory of the right to choose the language of education, of the possibility of pursuing their studies in their mother tongue. This measure affects almost one hundred educational institutions, she added. 

Mrs Szili highlighted: the right to education in the mother tongue is the most fundamental means for the preservation of one’s identity. 

By having signed an Association Agreement with the EU in 2014 – which entered into force on 1 September this year – Ukraine also undertook to observe common values, in particular, in the fields of democracy, human rights and the rule of law, the Prime Minister’s Special Appointee, former Speaker of the House wrote. 

In her view, with the passage of the amended education law, Ukraine has violated the core principles laid down in the Association Agreement it concluded with the European Union, and with regard to this the competent agencies of the EU, too, must forthwith take the necessary measures vis-a-vis the Ukrainian leadership. 

The Ukrainian Parliament passed the amended education legislation which will, after a transitional period of three years, deprive national minorities of the possibility of education in the mother tongue on Tuesday. The language of education in secondary schools and in higher education will be Ukrainian, and education in the languages of minorities will only be possible in kindergartens and in the elementary grades.

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