Hungary and Romania against the new language policy in Ukrainian schools

Author : Svitlana Zalishchuk

Source : 112 Ukraine

MP Zalishchuk: We have hundreds of thousands of citizens with passports from other states, some of whom become local deputies, and they cannot even read the Constitution of Ukraine.
17:25, 14 September 2017

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The Verkhovna Rada

We are not even surprised by behavior of Russia. But now, Hungary and Romania have joined the active campaign against a new language policy in Ukrainian schools.

What would I like to say to our European colleagues?

  1. The language issue for modern Ukraine is not even strengthening of our identity as a political nation. This is a pragmatic issue of security, protection of borders and survival of the state.

However, I would like to warn politicians who are trying to gain electoral benefits, dividing the Ukrainian society with the language issue, like Yanukovych did with NATO.

Related: Why Hungary aggravates language problem with Ukraine?

  1. Ukraine as a civilized European state will do everything to ensure possibilities of indigenous peoples and national minorities to learn and use their languages. Including, Russian. Because they are our citizens. But Ukraine, as a state experiencing aggression under the guise of "protecting the Russian-speaking population," must do its best not to step on the rake.

This is a dangerous situation, when we have hundreds of thousands of citizens with passports from other states, some of whom become local deputies, and they cannot even read the Constitution of Ukraine. Whose interests will they protect?

Related: Language of victory: Verkhovna Rada Ukrainized national TV by 75%

Hungary and Romania are pursuing an active policy of protecting their language on the territory of Ukraine. Their criticism about Ukraine sounds strange, because Ukraine defends its language on its own territory.

  1. By the way, in many European countries a foreigner will not get citizenship without passing a language exam. For example, in Poland. The results of the examination must be certified by the Official Language Certificate. Such a certificate is issued by a special Government Commission.
  2. The Baltic countries are still criticized for the model of ethnonational politics, since it provides a privileged status of the title ethnos through language and personnel policy. This is the response of Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia to the long-term eradication of national languages by Soviet Union. Anyone who has not been educated in national languages should demonstrate his knowledge of the state language. In Lithuania, this requirement is valid only in the public sector, in Latvia and Estonia - in the entire employment sector.

Ukraine has enough legal, political, and geopolitical arguments to prove to our European partners the legality and regularity of the decision.

Related: One language for all: Is business in Kyiv ready to switch to Ukrainian?

As was reported before, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary summons the Ambassador of Ukraine to Hungrary Lyubov Nepop to the Foreign Ministry due to the adopted education law on September 11. 'Szijjarto ordered the Hungarian diplomats to not support any of the Ukrainian initiatives at the international organizations and he claimed that Hungary will not support the important decisions for Ukraine anymore', the speaker of the Hungarian Foreign Ministry Tamash Mentser reported this. According to him, Budapest will raise an issue on the making of amendments to the language article of the Ukrainian Education Law at all forums of the UN, OSCE and the European Union. Also, Mentser noted that the Hungarian will hinder Ukraine with the implementation of important issues for it at the international stage according to the Szijjarto's order.

Related: MP Lytvyn: Best law on language was adopted in the last years of Soviet rule

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