Hungary Secures Transcarpathian Minority Rights in Ukraine's EU Membership Effort

Photo source:

Approximately 150,000 ethnic Hungarians reside in Ukraine’s Transcarpathia region. The tension between Ukraine and Hungary stems from Ukraine's language laws enacted in the wake of the 2014 annexation of Crimea, which was designed to diminish Russian influence. Among these laws passed in 2017 was a requirement that Ukrainian be the language of instruction beyond the fifth grade, leading to discontent among Romanian, Bulgarian, and Hungarian minorities and conflicting with the EU's membership criteria.

However, in a significant development, Hungary has been successful in its efforts to advocate for more rights for the Hungarian minority living in Ukraine. Ukraine will have to develop a minority action plan involving representatives of the Hungarian community, addressing issues such as minority languages and education. 

These conditions will be included in the framework for EU accession negotiations with Ukraine.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó stated, “We now have a paper from Brussels stating that Ukraine must give back the rights taken away from the Hungarians of Transcarpathia in recent years.”

He continues, “...we insist on the restoration of the rights of minorities to preserve their national identity, to use their mother tongue, and to learn in their mother tongue.”

For more details, visit the Hungary Today website.