PACE to debate Ukraine’s discriminatory new language law
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will hold a debate today on a new contraversial Ukrainian education law concerning minority languages.
Published: October 12, 2017, 10:11 am
This point was added to the agenda of PACE’s autumn plenary as urgent during a recent session, after Hungary and Poland’s parliamentary representatives called for a discussion on the new Ukrainian law. The law requires that educational institutions teach in Ukrainian only.
The Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada adopted the new education law on 5 September, entitled “On Education”, which instantly drew furious condemnation from both Ukraine’s European neighbours as well as Russia.
The law means that all national minority languages, such as Russian, will be taught only up to fifth grade, and only until 2020, when Ukraine’s education system will be exclusively Ukrainian-language-based.
Ukraine’s classification of Russians and the Russian language as a “national minority” is problematic at best. Novorossiya actually refers to the historical conquest by Russians. As a result of all of these historical facts, the Russian language is spoken at home by at least half of the Ukrainian population. Thus, Russians are the second ethnos composing Ukraine.
The second ethnic group targeted by Kiev, are the Hungarians, who similarly cannot be dismissed as a mere national minority. Hungarians have lived on the territory of Transcarpathian Rus (currently Ukraine’s Transcarpathian region) for more than 1000 years since this land’s induction into the Kingdom of Hungary. Ukrainians, who migrated from Galicia, are actually the real “national minority” of Transcarpathia.
The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages has been practically annulled by the Kiev junta since the victory of Euromaidan, undermining the status of both Hungarian and Russian.
And despite the Euromaidan slogan of “Ukraine is Europe!”, the new government forthwith abolished the European Charter and suspended the existing language law crafted for the EU.
While Kiev would not dare to stamp out the Russian language alone, as such a move would be too transparently and deliberately anti-democratic, they have included minorities linked Hungary, Poland, and Romania.
The new law deprives the 152 000-strong Magyar community in Transcarpathia of the possibility of education in their native language.
Hungary’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expressed his profound displeasure at the measures and on 10 October initiated a review of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement. Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó announced his decision during a meeting with representatives of the Hungarian diaspora in Ukraine’s Uzhgorod, on Kiev’s own territory.
The First Vice-Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, Irina Gerashchenko, dismissed Hungary’s criticism of the Ukrainian law as part of the upcoming Hungarian parliamentary elections.
In an interview with Sputnik Radio yesterday, Eduard Popov drew attention to the fact that the Hungarian experience of living in particular linguistic environments – Slavic and German – has led to the development of a particular sensitivity among Hungarians regarding language rights.
Budapest will no doubt work to undermine all forms of cooperation between the EU and Ukraine if Kiev continues its unpopular measures.
Popov expects the PACE debates on 12 October to be heated, where Ukraine will be facing harsh accusations from the Hungarian and Polish delegations. Some sensible members of the Verkhovna Rada have even admitted to a difficult meeting.
PACE has recommended that the Ukrainian government reconsider the issue of education with respect to the languages of minorities and emphasized that there should be no discrimination on the basis of language.
The blow to Ukraine’s unity has already been dealt, by Kiev sacrificing the loyalty of “non-titular” ethnic groups that make up Ukraine.
Kiev may even lose the very territories that it acquired following the Second World War thanks to the Soviet Union, without any interference from Russia.
All rights reserved. You have permission to quote freely from the articles provided that the source (www.freewestmedia.com) is given. Photos may not be used without our consent.
Keep your language polite. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in, for example, Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.
If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violations of any law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.
If your comments are subject to preview by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.
We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.
KievVladimir Zelensky is the new Ukrainian president. But who is the TV comedian who will run the scandal-prone country really?
BerlinIn a survey by the polling institute Emnid on Sunday about which German party would be a favourite in a federal election, the AfD came out as the strongest party in East Germany.
KievA real comedian, Volodymyr Zelensky, better known for playing a president in a TV show, won the final round of the presidential election on Sunday. The incumbent President Petro Poroshenko has conceded defeat.
ParisJournalists covering the Yellow Vest demonstration have reported that some of their colleagues have been arrested by the police. Others have been victims of police violence.
ParisOne of three jihadists involved in a foiled plot in 2016 to launch an attack on the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris was sentenced to eight years in prison by a French court just days before before a fire destroyed the iconic spire and roof.
ParisAn exclusive FWM reportage on the Yellow Vest movement that has riled French President Emmanuel Macron for months now. Our reporter joined a group of the famous gilets jaunes.
ParisWhile French and Catholics mourn the tragedy that struck the cathedral of Paris on Monday, Internet users, especially Muslims, preferred instead to celebrate the fire with insults and shameful ridicule.
ParisThe origin of the gigantic fire, which devastated the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral on Monday, is still unknown, but an investigation was opened for "involuntary destruction by fire," announced the Paris prosecutor's office in the evening.
HelsinkiA conservative political party that campaigned against open borders and climate change policies won the second-highest number of seats in Finland's parliamentary elections on Sunday.
ViennaAustrian Interior Minister Herbert Kickl (FPÖ) has warned in a letter to the EU Commission that Europe will be facing a new wave of mass immigration.