Hungary will not be able to block the decision to start negotiations on Ukraine's accession to the European Union, and the issue of the language of education in Ukraine can be considered resolved, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Olha Stefanishyna, said at NV’s “Ukraine’s Success Formula” event on Nov. 11.
The official claims she came up with the final formula for understanding on Nov. 11 after talks with European partners.
"We have found a way," the Deputy PM vowed, adding that this would not require direct contacts with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who is threatening to block Ukraine's accession to the EU.
“I will tell you more about it after the European Council meeting in December. But I am sure that it will work, one hundred percent.”
Commenting on Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto's statement that Ukraine would "bring war to the European Union," Stefanishyna called it "pure politics," but a good sign.
"Ordinary citizens read it as a betrayal," the official said.
“For me, this is a super successful case. It means that Hungary is confident that we will definitely solve the education issue. We have submitted a roadmap to them, we have a law in the parliament and there are assessments conducted in Zakarpattya Oblast (where many Hungarian speakers live – ed.). Tens of thousands of Ukrainians have moved there [from other regions] and, in fact, now Hungarian schools are forced to have Ukrainian as the language of education.”
In the recent statements by Orban and Szijjarto, she sees an understanding that the issue of the Transcarpathian Hungarians will surely not allow Budapest to block the process of Ukraine's rapprochement with the EU.
"There are now higher-level threats. This means we are moving in the right direction," Stefanishyna concluded.
Hungarian Prime Minister’s political director Balázs Orban said on Nov. 7 that the government of Viktor Orban would veto the start of negotiations with Ukraine on joining the European Union, in particular, because of "violations of the rights of the Hungarian minority."
Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba responded to Hungary's threats by saying that the country "fundamentally promotes the issue of national minorities in the Hungarian vision" and urged "to solve problems as they arise."
Later, Stefanishyna said that Ukraine had provided Hungary with a detailed roadmap on how to resolve disputes over national minorities.
The European Commission on Nov. 8 recommended starting negotiations on the accession of Ukraine and Moldova to the EU. EC President Ursula von der Leyen said that Ukraine has completed "over 90%" of the necessary steps outlined by the European Commission last year, especially noting judicial reforms and efforts to fight corruption. Brussels expects Ukraine and Moldova to complete the reforms by March 2024.
In mid-December, the European Council is expected to decide whether to start membership negotiations with Ukraine. The decision must be made unanimously by all member states.
On Nov. 11, NV is holding a big event called "Ukraine's Success Formula". Prominent politicians and businessmen discuss what can be changed in the country even in times of war.
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