Espreso. Global

Journalists publish 11 Hungary's demands to Ukraine

27 June, 2024 Thursday

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's 11 demands regarding national minorities, which he put forward in exchange for his agreement to support the start of negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the EU, have been revealed


This is reported by European Pravda.

It is noted that Ukraine received this list back in January from Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto, but so far Hungary's demands have been non-public.

Among the 11 requirements of Hungary are the following:

  • Ensure at the legislative level that school directors do not have the sole right to change decisions on teaching certain subjects in Ukrainian/Hungarian (except for the subjects Ukrainian language, Ukrainian literature, and History of Ukraine, which are taught in Ukrainian according to the relevant law).
  • Ensure the use of the Hungarian language in the entire educational process, including the possibility of using the Hungarian language during all other events, meetings, sessions, as well as in the process of creating the image of the institution (in advertising, on the website, etc.).
  • To restore the status of a "national minority school" with education in the Hungarian language at the legislative level.
  • Ensure the right to choose the language of instruction for universities and vocational education institutions, including private ones.
  • Ensure that school leavers can receive a Hungarian translation of the EIT and the National Multidisciplinary Test (except for Ukrainian language and literature and foreign languages) upon request.
  • The territorial scope of application of the legislation on the use of languages is not an "administrative unit" but a "settlement" (which is not legally an administrative unit). We request that the concepts of "settlement" and "administrative unit" be used as the territorial scope of application.
  • Having the appropriate percentage of the population does not automatically grant the right to use the language, but requires a decision by the local authorities. We demand that the use of language rights not be linked to the decision of any body (such as a local council), provided that the required population ratio is met, and to ensure it for the national minority in accordance with the law (based on the latest census data, currently 2001).
  • The condition for the realization of the language rights of a national minority living in a given territory "traditionally" (for at least 100 years) is at least 10% of the population, and for a "significant number" of minorities - 15%. In the case of a "traditionally" (at least 100 years) residing national minority, we ask to cancel the condition of 10% of the population.
  • Language restrictions in everyday life and disproportionate punishment for violation of language rules. We ask that the language restrictions on the representation of toponyms and geographical names in the language of a national minority, in contacts with public authorities and healthcare facilities, during sporting events, in tourism, as well as on the mandatory representation of information in Ukrainian or the use of subtitles in the dissemination of any public information (for example, in cinema, theater, posters, advertising) be completely removed at the legislative level.
  • Abolish the concept of cultural autonomy. Please include the concept of cultural autonomy in the legal system. Please ensure the right to freely use national symbols and the right to freely celebrate national holidays.
  • Restrict the use of the Hungarian language in political life, introduce compulsory proficiency in the state language in public life, and abolish the possibility of independent political representation. Ensure the free use of languages during parliamentary and local elections and referendums, abolish conditions for the use of a national minority language in public life, and ensure the right to representation in parliament.

As for the first point, there is a compromise wording that Hungary has agreed to: to expand the number of subjects to be taught in Ukrainian, the consent/initiative of the parents of two-thirds of students is required.

The third point is one of the key ones for Hungary. Ukraine, on the other hand, is ready to discuss the introduction of the status of "general secondary education institution of the national community," but proposes to grant it only to schools with Hungarian-language instruction in 75% or more of the classes. Budapest requires this status if a school has at least one Hungarian-language class, with all the consequences for such schools.

As noted in the publication, the seventh point is quite problematic, because "Hungary, in fact, demands to recognize the entire Transcarpathian region as the territory of traditional residence of Hungarians, with appropriate changes, starting with bilingual signs even in those places where Hungarians have never lived en masse, or once lived, but now there are almost no Hungarians left."

In addition, since 2001, many ethnic Hungarians have left Ukraine; this is proposed to be ignored.

The last point, according to journalists, essentially refers to the reform of the electoral system to ensure representation of the Hungarian minority in the Ukrainian parliament. However, Budapest has already begun to give signals of its readiness to abandon it, although it has not completely withdrawn the demand.

  • On June 25, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Olha Stefanishyna said that Ukraine would implement 11 proposals from Hungary on the rights of national minorities, which are necessary for joining the European Union.

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