The President of the EP has stood up for the protection of minorities in Transcarpathia

2018. 12. 17.

Press release by Andrea Bocskor

Antonio Tajani, the President of the European Parliament replied to Transcarpathian Fidesz MEP Andrea Bocskor, providing information about actions taken in favor of the Transcarpathian Hungarian community. The President of the EP also reported on his meeting with Andriy Parubiy, the Chairman of the Ukrainian Supreme Council.

On October 10th this year, MEP Andrea Bocskor and László Brenzovics, head of the Transcarpathian Hungarian Cultural Association and member of the Ukrainian Supreme Council, met Antonio Tajani. They informed the President about the increasingly difficult situation that Transcarpathian Hungarians face, the discriminative regulations against national minorities and other harassment. Following the meeting, Andrea Bocskor wrote a letter to Antonio Tajani concerning Ukraine’s language law, “Ensuring the Functionality of Ukrainian as State Language,” which was adopted at first reading by the Ukrainian Supreme Council. This act would drastically limit the language rights of national minorities living in Ukraine.

“I drew the President’s attention to the fact that Ukraine has committed to respecting the rights of national minorities living in the country under the provisions of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities of the European Council and the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. I also asked him to pressure the Ukrainian Government and President Petro Poroshenko to send the bill to the Venice Commission prior to the second reading,” said the Fidesz MEP.

In his letter, Antonio Tajani informed Andrea Bocskor about the bilateral meeting he had with Chairman Andriy Parubiy on November 27th. “The President of the European Parliament called Parubiy’s attention to the fact that several MEPs are seriously concerned about the situation of minorities living in Ukraine,” said Bocskor, summarizing the content of the letter.

“He highlighted that a country aspiring to become a member of the European Union and enjoy the support of its Member States should ensure the fundamental rights of national minorities. Furthermore, he stressed again that Ukraine should fully comply with the recommendations of the Venice Commission in relation to Article 7 of the Education Act. The Chairman ensured the EP President that they will consult minority representatives before implementing the forthcoming legislative measures and attach great importance to the protection of minorities in Ukraine,” she said.

“I hope that in the near future, there will be more initiatives coming from the European Union and will get some real results through this dialogue. It is essential that European institutions call firmly upon Ukraine to fulfil its commitments and respect the fundamental rights of minorities living in the country,” Bocskor concluded.