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.
New leader of Donetsk People’s Republic: The former leader of Donetsk People’s Republic Alexander Zakharchenko was assasinated by Ukrainian Security Service.
This past week the interior ministers of the member states of the European Union met in Vienna where Jean Asselborn, a member of the Socialist Workers’ Party, and Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Affairs in Luxembourg, inadvertently boosted conservatives.
The Tibetan Buddhist leader Dalai Lamas message is that Europe belongs to Europeans and refugees should return to their home countries as soon as the danger is over. Swedish journalists quickly changed from celebrating the peace laureate to suggesting the old monk is ignorant.
French conservatives on Tuesday criticised the "revival of teaching of Arabic" in schools welcomed by Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer.
The "moderate" rebels in Syria were not moderate at all, the recent scandal in the Netherlands has demonstrated yet again. Faced with mounting legal problems, the Dutch government has been forced to cut loose the jihadists. At least one prosecutor seems to believe that the government committed a crime.
The HagueThe Dutch government supported an armed group in Syria that has been labeled as a terrorist organisation by the country's own Public Prosecution Service.
The establishment parties dropped in yesterday’s election in Sweden, but far from what would be expected from early polls. The Social Democrats and Conservatives remain the biggest parties, with anti establishment Sweden Democrats at third place, growing from 12.9 to 17.6 percent. However, the party could still play an decisive role, since the difference between the socialist and conservative block is one single seat.
Marine Le Pen, leader of the French National Rally - formerly known as the National Front - welcomed the rise of the Sweden Democrats.
Today the Swedes are going to vote for a new parliament, as well as regional and local representatives. The anti-immigration party, the Sweden Democrats are expected to rise to the position of biggest party, while a completely new Alternative for Sweden has a chance to enter the parliament.
The new Italian government, under the leadership of Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, has managed to stop the flood of migrants crossing the Mediterranean to Italy. But now Spain is struggling. Who will lead Spain out of the quagmire?