German MEP Viola von Cramon-Taubadel recently spoke out on the issue of the Hungarian community in Transcarpathia. The politician called Transcarpathia the tool for Viktor Orbán and questioned the insults suffered by the Transcarpathian Hungarians, even claiming that the Transcarpathian Hungarians have the broadest rights of all minorities in the region.
Fidesz MEP Andrea Bocskor has responded to Viola von Cramon-Taubadel’s false statements in an open letter. In her letter, she summarised Ukraine’s minority policy and the measures taken to restrict the rights previously exercised by the Hungarian and other national minorities in the country.
„Despite your visits to the region, I can only suspect with regret that your impressions of the current situation in the region, of ethnic relations, are very incomplete, biased and based only on information from the Ukrainian state-sponsored media. On the other hand, it is outrageous that you are using the issue of the Hungarians in Transcarpathia to further fuel the EU’s disputes with Hungary, confusing the restriction of minority rights with a dispute arising from a clash of political views. This is not only far from objective, but it is also unethical and completely false. To complete the picture, I suggest that you speak personally to representatives of the Hungarian minority living there, as well as the Romanian minority also affected by Ukraine’s rights-destroying minority policy.”-stated Andrea Bocskor.
In her letter, Andrea Bocskor also drew attention to the systematic legal restrictions on the rights of national minorities, such as the new law on education adopted in 2017 or the 2019 law on support for the functioning of Ukrainian as a state language, which extend the use of Ukrainian to all areas of public administration and public life, education, culture and media.
As a result, minority languages can only be used in private communication or at religious events, and in all other situations Ukrainian is controlled by language commissioners. „This is a violation of language rights that is unprecedented in Europe today,” Andrea Bocskor points out.
The MEP also informs her German politician colleague about the detail of the 2021 law, which does not recognise the Hungarians living in the territory for a thousand years as an indigenous people, depriving them also of the possibility of secondary education in their mother tongue, which is available to the population recognised as indigenous.
Andrea Bocskor recalls that the minority law adopted in 2022, which has since been amended, still does not comply with the recommendations of the Venice Commission: it provides all freedoms and rights to Ukrainian speakers, while restricting the rights of minority language speakers.
The Fidesz MEP listed a number of violent activities and illegal actions against minority institutions and public figures, such as the burning of the headquarters of the Transcarpathian Hungarian Cultural Association (KMKSZ), the Mirotvorec death list, the persecution and accusations against the KMKSZ chairman, the removal of the Turul statue and the abuse of the leaders of the Mukachevo district.
Andrea Bocskor explained to her fellow politician that Ukraine has started to take serious steps to address the situation of minorities, but this does not mean that the problems have been solved. Ukraine belongs in the European family, and the sooner it meets the Copenhagen criteria, the sooner it will be there.
„I would like to see real European reforms in Ukraine and equal rights and opportunities for all citizens. I am happy to answer any questions you may have on this.”