Hungarian government reacts to President Zelensky's new Ethnic Minority Law

"It is regrettable that Ukraine continues to diminish the rights of ethnic minorities," State Secretary Janos Arpad Potapi wrote, in a statement.

POLITICS DECEMBER 31. 2022 12:00

„It is regrettable that Ukraine’s president had signed the new Law on Ethnic Minorities (Communities) adopted by the country’s parliament, further diminishing the rights of ethnic minorities, including Hungarian communities, living on its territory,” Arpad Janos-Potapi, the state secretary in charge of Nation Policy at the Hungarian prime minister’s office, said in a statement.

It saddens us that, during the war, and while Hungary is carrying out the biggest humanitarian mission of its history to support Ukrainian refugees, Ukraine took yet another step to restrict the rights of ethnic minorities,

Mr Janos-Potapi underlined. He recalled that – in its opinion issued on 17 June 2022 on granting membership status to Ukraine – the European Commission outlined a 7-point proposal to Ukraine and compelled Kyiv – in line with the recommendations put forward by the Venice Commission – to adopt effective implementation mechanisms to ensure minority rights with immediate effect. Unfortunately, Ukraine’s legislature has failed to take into account the recommendations of the European Commission, and has not engaged in any meaningful dialogue with ethnic minorities.

The state secretary underlined, that

the new law constitutes a setback in many regards, even compared against Ukraine’s Law on Ethnic Minorities from 1992.

The state secretary stressed that although Hungary understands and supports Ukraine’s EU integration efforts, it also draws Kyiv’s attention to the fact that the laws adopted through this integration process must be based on European values and international norms. „We trust that until its new Law on Ethnic Minorities (Communities) takes effect, Ukraine – based on the recommendations put forward by the ethnic minorities living on its territory and the Venice Commission – will continue to work on the text of the approved legislation to create a new bill that undoubtedly demonstrates the country’s commitment both towards the European Union, and to securing the rights of ethnic minorities,” he added.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed the country’s new Law on the Protection of Ethnic Minorities on Friday, the adoption of which was a key prerequisite to launching negotiations on Ukraine’s potential accession to the EU.



law, national minorities, ukraine, volodimir zelensky