Venice Commission disagrees with Hungary's demands for changes to Ukrainian 'law on education'

The Venice Commission denied Hungary's request to allow Hungarian to be the sole language for teaching in Ukraine, stated the Secretary of the Venice Commission, Thomas Markert during an interview with European Pravda.

The commission believes that a bilingual mode of instruction is an advantage. Markert stated, "We do not share this position. We believe that the country can move from a strictly Hungarian-speaking system to a mixed one, with part of the hours being taught in Hungarian and some in Ukrainian. It is even better for the students themselves if they receive training in two languages."

At the same time, the representative of the Venice Commission emphasized that the Hungarians’ criticism is justified if there are no guarantees for minority languages. He added that it is necessary that the by-laws establish these guarantees.

“… the state language should also be taught in sufficient frequency… so that a person could be integrated [into society] and be competitive in the labor market. For this, it is necessary to speak well in Ukrainian, and not only in Hungarian. But bilingual education in itself—this is an advantage.”

Hungary has named two conditions to settle the problem with Ukraine concerning the law "On education": any right of the Hungarian minority should not be taken away and Transcarpathian Hungarians must confirm their agreement to changes in the law.

  law on education, Venice commission, Ukraine, Hungary