Jobbik MP István Szávay inquired into the Hungarian foreign affairs minister’s position on Ukraine’s language act and expressed his opinion on the failure of Hungarian diplomacy.
“If President Poroshenko signs the amended education act into law, Ukraine’s Hungarian minority will suffer a mortal wound on top of their losses caused by the civil war and the country’s economic breakdown,” Mr Szávay began his speech. Explaining that the amended law would practically eliminate education in ethnic minority languages, including Hungarian, the MP said it would be a serious blow to their communities. The amendment means that Hungarian could only be used in kindergarten and elementary school as a language of education.
In Mr Szávay’s view, this could prompt ethnic Hungarian parents to take their children to the motherland for education. He considered Ukraine’s step as a major threat although not quite a recent one. The adopted law had been under debate for months, so Hungary could have long ago spoken out and put pressure on Ukraine not to pass the amendment. “Jobbik Movement for a Better Hungary considers the adoption of this law as the total failure of Hungarian diplomacy.” Although Minister in charge of the Prime Minister’s Office János Lázár did mention some clandestine talks but there is practically no information available on them.
Mr Szávay posed three questions to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade: What measures has Hungary’s diplomacy taken in recent months to prevent the adoption of this law? What measures have been taken, what negotiations have been conducted and what pressure has been applied to Ukraine since the law was adopted? What measures is the Hungarian diplomacy planning to take in the future?
As an example, the opposition politician mentioned the Hungary-Netherlands diplomatic scandal, when the statements of a leaving ambassador caused so much distress in the Ministry that they withdrew Hungary’s ambassador from the Netherlands. In contrast, no such measures have been taken when the entire Transcarpathian Hungarian education is jeopardized.
Jobbik’s position is that Viktor Orbán should personally address this issue and raise it in international forums. “This is an affair where Viktor Orbán has a personal responsibility. We call on him to take the matter to international forums and achieve a joint European pressure on Ukraine.”