Jobbik calls upon government to protect Hungarian schools in Ukraine

In Jobbik’s view, it is a violation of Ukraine’s international commitments and the Hungary-Ukraine Treaty, as well as an outrageous and unacceptable act that the Ukrainian Parliament approved at second reading the bill that could be the basis for the complete elimination of Hungarian language education in public primary and secondary schools and higher education institutions. Our local members and supporters have informed us that many Hungarian parents are planning to take their children out of the schools and likely bring them over to Hungary.

Such an occurrence may be a final blow to the Transcarpathian Hungarian community, which has already been extremely weakened by the civil war and the economic collapse in Ukraine. So Jobbik Movement for a Better Hungary welcomes the joint protest of the largest Transcarpathian Hungarian organizations. We are also happy that state secretary for national policy Árpád János Potápi finally made a firm stance to criticize the Ukrainian government’s chauvinism after so many years. We must also point out however, that the said law clearly indicates the failure of Fidesz’ foreign policy of giving unilateral gestures to our neighbours. In this regard, the current government is unfortunately following the practice of the previous Socialist cabinets. The Hungarian government’s activities in recent years have been characterized by an otherwise welcome increase of funds allocated to the Hungarian communities living beyond our borders but in the meantime, the cabinet almost completely gave up on raising the violation of Hungarian minority rights as an issue in the bilateral relations. They always preferred a slap on the back from some chetnik in Belgrade or the increasingly elusive friendship of Robert Fico. Typically enough, Foreign Affairs Minister Szíjjártó never fails to stand for “Ukraine’s territorial integrity” and unconditionally supports Kiev’s EU accession - the latest example was when Hungary lobbied for visa free travel and association agreements - but the Ukrainian government refuses to give even the smallest concessions in return, on the contrary, they discriminate and trample upon the rights of ethnic communities living in their territory.

After Jobbik getting into government in 2018, the interest of the Hungarian ethnic minorities living in the neighbouring countries will always have the top priority. Let us point out once again: we are not going to support Ukraine’s (and Serbia’s) EU accession unless they treat the native ethnic communities living in their territories as state-forming nations and actively seek expanding their rights rather than curbing them. The Euro-Atlantic integration of our neighbours is a Hungarian interest, too, but not at all costs!

So Jobbik expects the Hungarian government to take a categorical and firm stance against the amendment of the Ukrainian education act and to prevent it from being signed into law and becoming effective, thus preventing the deprivation of the Transcarpathian Hungarian community in its own homeland! Fidesz should not only fight Brussels when the EU criticizes their laws designed to build an authoritarian state but also when the situation of the Hungarian communities living in the territories torn away from us demands the protection of the Motherland! So we call upon Viktor Orbán to raise the issue of this most vulnerable and poorest Hungarian community of ours in international forums and demand a joint European action against Ukraine!


MP István Szávay, Chairman of Jobbik’s National Policy Cabinet