Today, on 8 December, the Verkhovna Rada adopted as a basis and as a whole the draft law 10288-1 on amendments to certain laws of Ukraine to take into account the expert assessment of the Council of Europe and its bodies on the rights of national minorities (communities) in certain areas.
317 MPs voted in favour.
MP Iryna Herashchenko, who is a co-author of the draft law, noted that it was a parliamentary, not a governmental, draft law that was brought to the floor.
"By implementing the recommendations of the Venice Commission, we have protected society from the potential reduction of the role of the Ukrainian language in education, media, book publishing and threats of russification of the country," she wrote.
Herashchenko noted that political advertising, private schools and universities, minority classes, and the media allow the use of EU and minority languages, except for the language of the aggressor country.
At the same time, advertising should be duplicated in Ukrainian, and the study of Ukrainian as the state language will be compulsory in all educational institutions, although education can be conducted in EU languages.
"This draft law implements the recommendations of the Venice Commission for the Protection of Minority Rights, but it does not apply to the language of the aggressor country. And not for 5 years, as the government planned, but forever!" - Herashchenko wrote.
For his part, MP Oleksiy Honcharenko said what exactly this bill provides for:
- private higher education institutions have the right to freely choose the language of instruction, which is the official language of the EU (teaching one, several or all disciplines, performing individual tasks and conducting control measures), while ensuring that students studying in such institutions study the state language as a separate discipline;
- in classes (groups) with instruction in languages of national minorities (communities) that are official languages of the European Union, the right to use the language of the respective national minority in the educational process along with the state language is guaranteed;
- persons belonging to national minorities of Ukraine, whose languages are official languages of the European Union, who started receiving general secondary education before 1 September 2018 in the language of the respective national minority until completion of full general secondary education, have the right to continue receiving such education in accordance with the rules that existed before the entry into force of the Law of Ukraine "On Ensuring the Functioning of Ukrainian as the State Language";
- in accordance with the procedure and under the conditions determined by the law on the procedure for exercising the rights of indigenous peoples and national minorities of Ukraine, it is allowed to disseminate election campaign materials in the languages of the respective indigenous peoples, national minorities (communities) of Ukraine and duplicated in the state language;
- the requirement to publish in the state language at least 50% of all titles of book publications published during the relevant calendar year does not apply to publishing products published in the Crimean Tatar language, other languages of indigenous peoples or national minorities of Ukraine at the expense of the state and/or local budgets, as well as to publishing products published in national minority languages that are official languages of the EU;
- persons belonging to national minorities of Ukraine, whose languages are official languages of the EU, and who exercise the right to study in the respective languages in state, municipal or corporate educational institutions, may receive: basic secondary education and specialised secondary education in the respective languages of national minorities, except for subjects (integrated courses) related to the study of the Ukrainian language, Ukrainian literature and history of Ukraine, as well as the Defence of Ukraine (for specialised secondary education), which are taught in the state language.
- restrictions on national minority languages that are the state (official) language of a state that has been recognised by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine as an aggressor or occupying state are transferred from the final and transitional provisions of the laws of Ukraine to the body of the documents, and therefore will not have a time frame;
- for TV broadcasters that, in addition to broadcasting in the state language, broadcast exclusively in the languages of national minorities of Ukraine, which are official languages of the European Union, in minority languages to which the provisions of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages other than those of national minorities (communities) apply, that is the state (official) language of a state that has been recognised by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine as an aggressor state or an occupying state, regardless of the territorial category - programmes in the state language should be at least 30% of the total duration of the programmes (or parts thereof).”