Ukraine’s Hungarians appeal to Orbán seeking EU accession talks

December 12,2023 815
Ukraine’s Hungarians appeal to Orbán seeking EU accession talks

In a united appeal to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and European Council President Charles Michel, leaders of Ukraine’s Hungarian communities call for support in commencing negotiations on Ukraine’s EU accession.

“We, the representatives of the Hungarian national community of Zakarpattia Oblast, are turning to you with great hope and a request to support the decision to open negotiations on Ukraine’s membership in the European Union, scheduled for December 14-15, 2023,” the appeal reads.

Acknowledging Ukraine’s strides in implementing European Commission recommendations for minority rights, the community endorses the parliamentary law reflecting these interests. 

“At the same time, we hope that all the norms adopted in the mentioned comprehensive law will be implemented in the regulatory documents of the Ukrainian legislation, considering all the proposals provided by the public organizations of Zakarpattia Oblast’s Hungarians. This step is important to confirm Ukraine’s commitment to strengthening the rights of people of different nationalities throughout the country and in Zakarpattia Oblast in particular,” the appeal reads.

The Hungarian community in Ukraine called on all leaders of the EU member states to continue supporting Ukraine on the path of European integration.

“This progress in ensuring democracy and the rights of national minorities is an integral part of the Copenhagen criteria for membership, and we believe that Ukraine deserves to be supported in its efforts in this direction,” the letter states.

Even during the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24, 2022, Ukraine continues to implement the necessary reforms and remains faithful to its European integration values, the community emphasized.

Earlier, the Ukrainian World Congress applauded Ukraine’s adoption of amendments to the law on national minorities. The UWC expects that the new legislation, grounded in robust international standards protecting national minorities, will facilitate Ukraine’s rapid accession to the European Union.

Meanwhile, Hungary considers the Ukrainian parliament’s decision insufficient to ensure the rights of the Hungarian minority, as the State Secretary for Bilateral Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary, Tamás Menczer, hinted.

“In Ukraine, the Hungarian community began to be deprived of their rights eight years ago, and since then, the deprivation of rights has continued continuously. We will, of course, carefully evaluate yesterday’s decision of the Ukrainian parliament, but it is already clear that it is far from returning the rights of 2015. At the same time, we constantly monitor the implementation,” Menczer wrote.

Cover: AFP/Getty Images

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