Loránt Vincze: Ukraine is clearly on the wrong track regarding minority rights

- Press releases

Unfortunately, today Ukraine is clearly on the wrong track when it comes to minority rights. The current political environment is unpredictable, but once the presidential elections are over there will be a new chance for Ukraine to go back on the right track, respecting national minorities and supporting their linguistic and educational rights – said FUEN president Loránt Vincze on Tuesday in Strasbourg at the side event of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). The conference, entitled Language Rights in Ukraine was organised by the FUEN and the Hungarian Delegation of the PACE.

In his speech the FUEN president stressed that states should recognize that the successful minority communities who are satisfied with their situation contribute to peace and to the development of the societies they live in. On the other hand, if communities are not able to protect their right to be educated in their own language and the right to use their mother tongue, the situation leads to more and more conflicts, as history has shown us. Imposing the state language by force might bring the opposite effect, and this is the case in Ukraine, as the effectiveness of language learning has more to do with educational methods and standards, and less with the compelling legislation – he pointed out.

He remind the audience that in 2019 FUEN’s Annual Congress was planned to take place in Ukraine, but due to security concerns they decided to organize it in Slovakia instead. We were right to have concerns, as just last weekend the president of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania, Mr. Hunor Kelemen was denied access in Ukraine, said Vincze. The FUEN president said that despite taking place in Bratislava, one of the main topics of the FUEN Congress is going to be the situation of national minorities in Ukraine.

Loránt Vincze said that FUEN has an active role in Ukraine, FUEN vice president Gösta Toft was recently involved in az ECMI mission in Ukraine and the president also visited the country several times. He believes that the cooperation of the minorities of Ukraine is essential, as they should stand together and have common goals. In this regard, he saluted the presence of the leaders of the Romanian and Hungarian communities of Ukraine at the event.

The FUEN president urged the Council of Europe to enforce the CoE documents Ukraine have signed, the Charter of Regional or Minority Languages and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. He also said that the respect of the existing minority legislation and the implementation of the legislative framework should be part of the European Union rule of law. 

Key Topics

  • Political Participation
  • Fundamental Rights
  • Linguistic Diversity
  • Solidarity with the Roma
  • European Citizens' Initiative
  • European Network
  • Forum of the European Minorities / House of Minorities


More photos at Flickr