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Slovakians in Zakarpattia does not suffer from Ukraine's education law, - Foreign Minister

Earlier Hungary stood against the Ukrainian law "On education"
16:07, 4 October 2018

Ukrinform

The Slovakian community in Zakarpattia, which borders upon four countries: Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania, does not experience problems due to the implementation of the language law "On education." Pavlo Klimkin, Foreign Minister of Ukraine, claimed this at the joint briefing with his Slovakian colleague Miroslav Lajcak as 112 Ukraine reported.

"We should not lose time, discussing, as with some other neighbours, the implementation of the law on languages, as our Slovakian friends think that the Slovakian community in Zakarpattia does not suffer from it in any way and it is very good. We, for our part, will help this community and worry about it," Klimkin noted.

Related: Hungary expels Ukrainian consul in Budapest

The new law on education was signed by Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko on September 25, 2017. In particular, it introduces a 12-year-long school program and limits the number of subjects taught in the languages of national minorities. This particular decision evoked outrage in Moldova, Romania, Russia, and Hungary. Budapest even threatened to slow down the process of Ukraine’s integration with the EU.

Ukraine sent the text of the new legislation to the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission; meanwhile, the Council’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) announced that it failed to “ensure the necessary balance between the country’s state language and the languages of its ethnic minorities.”

Related: Slovakian President Andrej Kiska to visit Ukraine in November

Due to this conflict, Hungary imposed a veto at the holding of the Ukraine-NATO commission in Brussels at the foreign ministers level.

As we reported the session of the Ukraine-NATO commission that should take place on February 14-15 was blocked by Hungary. Hungary claimed about its intention to block the meeting in the mid of January when Péter Szijjártó Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary claimed that the blocking will continue until Kyiv fulfills the demands of Hungary toward the education law. 

Article 7 of the new Law, by reducing the scope of education in minority languages, notably at the secondary level, has drawn strong criticism and protests both domestically and internationally. "Paragraph 4 of Article 7 provides no solution for languages which are not official languages of the EU, in particular, the Russian language, as the most widely used language apart from the state language. The less favourable treatment of these languages is difficult to justify and therefore raises issues of discrimination," European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) concluded. A great proportion of Ukraine’s ethnic minority communities live in south-western Zakarpattia. In 2017, 54% of the region’s school leavers couldn’t pass the basic exam, an external Ukrainian language test, Open Democracy reports

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