Valtapeliä vähemmistöasialla Unkarin, Romanian ja Ukrainan kielisota 2017–2018
Power games with minorities’ cause – Hungary, Romania and Ukraine’s language war 2017–2018. The Ukrainian education law from Autumn 2017 sparked severe reactions from neighboring countries. Teaching in Ukrainian was condemned especially by Hungary and Romania, whose actions this article analyses.
Cynical power games serve as a loose framework. Generally, discursive approach is applied to give a comprehensive picture on the dispute. The source material consists of official statements and relevant news, therefore, itself offers a basis for interpretation.
The reform was taken to better integrate minority pupils in the Ukrainian society. Hungary and Romania saw it as a threat to the respective identity. Bukarest canceled high-level meetings with Kiev, and Budapest blocked NATO- Ukraine ministerial cooperation. Playing cynically, both sought regional hegemony.
In April–June 2018, the parts agreed on compromise. But for Kiev, the outcome closes a paradox: what’s the point of a law, practically overruled by bilateral agreements?