The EU should be more consistent in defending minority rights in the Ukriane – Kinga Gál

The EU should be more consistent in defending minority rights in the Ukriane – Kinga Gál

2010. 02. 10.

Kinga Gál asked the European Commission to be more consistent and precise when defending the rights of national minorities. These include the rights of minorities to education in their mother tongue, a basic condition for national minorities.

"The European Union has the opportunity – and it is proven by the case of certain new member states – to influence the regulations of associate countries concerning national minorities," she said, "and in this way enforce the fundamental values of the European Union in third countries."

In November Kinga Gál sent a written question to the Commission concerning the Ukrainian education system, which has had a negative effect on the language use of national minorities. Measures adopted last year are undermining the progress made before with national minority languages.

In their answer the European Commission said that it will take into account that the association agreement to be signed with the Ukraine must contain measures that confirm the respect for the rights of persons belonging to national minorities.

Furthermore, the Commission stated that: "In the case of education in Hungarian the Commission has made sure, on the spot, that several applications have arrived at the Ministry of Education in connection with supplying with textbooks the schools that teach in a national minority language."

The Ministry announced that the 2010 textbooks, as in previous years, will be ordered by application. The Ministry, in its 2010 draft budget, has set a financial framework to publish textbooks in the language of national minorities. The Commission has taken notice of the content of the 461(2008) Ministerial Decree and the 1033 (2009) Declaration on the issue." Furthermore, it promised to follow the development of the situation.