Romania protests Ukraine’s new minority law

By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

Romania has asked Ukraine to revise its recently adopted law on ethnic minorities, saying that while it is an improvement over previous legislation, it still does not satisfactorily address the demands of the Romanian minority in Ukraine.

As Remix News reported earlier, the Ukrainian parliament adopted a new law on Dec. 13 to enhance the rights of ethnic minorities in the country. The bill on national minorities’ rights was supported by 324 MPs, with just 226 votes needed for its adoption. The legislation was a key condition required for Ukraine to start negotiations on its accession to the European Union.

In a press release, the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) called on Ukrainian authorities to consult the Venice Commission even at this stage and to fully implement its recommendations, given that the law provides for a six-month deadline for its entry into force.

“The European Commission indicated, among the steps to be taken, the completion of the reform of the legislative framework on the rights of persons belonging to national minorities, in line with the recommendations of the Venice Commission, and the immediate adoption of effective implementation mechanisms,” the MFA press release states.

The Hungarian government, on account of the some 150,000 ethnic Hungarians living in Ukraine, and the organizations of the Hungarian minority in Transcarpathia, has objected to the language article of the Education Law adopted in 2018, as well as the 2019 law on the functioning of Ukrainian as the state language (commonly known as the Language Law), because they see these laws as a violation of the rights of minorities. They have thus been urging Kyiv for years to adopt legislation guaranteeing the protection of minorities in Ukraine.

Romania has a much larger ethnic minority in Ukraine, numbering some 400,000. It is the the third largest ethnic group in Ukraine after Ukrainians and Russians.

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