Location Ukraine Ukraine

EU criticizes Ukrainian language politics

The European Union called on Ukraine to fully implement the recommendations of the Venice Commission regarding the language clause of the law “On Education”.

And lately, it did it twice. The first statement was made on December 12 in the resolution of the European Parliament. The second time this question was raised by the Council of Europe on December 17 following the meeting of the Council of the Ukraine-EU Association, held in Brussels. The EU specifically addressed the issue of discrimination against Roma. In addition, EU representatives are concerned that Ukraine is violating the right of all national minorities to receive information in their native language.

The European Parliament resolution of 12 December 2018 on the implementation of the EU Association Agreement with Ukraine “underlines the need for an independent media and media pluralism in order to ensure the security of media workers and journalists; calls for there to be no limit on the opportunities for minority language media sources in order to ensure that citizens of all ethnicities can enjoy equal access to information;

Calls for the Strategy for the Protection and Integration in Ukrainian Society of the Roma National Minority to be revised to include the monitoring of safety as a key priority and for it to be properly implemented at all levels; calls for the establishment of state programmes aimed at the prevention of hate crimes and other forms of discrimination as part of the implementation of the National Human Rights Strategy; condemns the deep-rooted stigmatisation and social exclusion of Roma arising from anti-Gypsyism; is deeply concerned by the recent cases of violence against Roma and the LGBTI community and calls for immediate and effective investigations by the authorities and vocal and public condemnation of these acts and their perpetrators by the government;

Takes notes of Ukraine’s intention to amend the law on education in line with the recommendations of the Venice Commission and calls for this to be swiftly translated into concrete action; calls for the law to be fully implemented on the basis of a substantive dialogue with the representatives of persons belonging to national minorities, including legislation which extends the transition period until 2023 and regulates exemption for private schools.”

In the same resolution European Parliament “regrets the fact that the investigation into the deaths that occurred during the Maidan and Odessa demonstrations and into the assassination of journalists is proving slow and has yielded no tangible results” but doesn’t call for punishment authorities responsible for fruitless investigative activity.

In the Joint press statement following the 5th Association Council meeting between the EU and Ukraine adopted on December 17 the European Council mentions:

“As regards Ukraine’s law on education, the two sides agreed on the need to ensure the respect for rights already exercised of persons belonging to national minorities as enshrined in UN and Council of Europe Conventions and related protocols, non-discrimination of persons belonging to minorities and respect for diversity and to fully implement the recommendations included in the opinion of the Venice Commission no. 902/2017, on the basis of a substantive dialogue with the representatives of persons belonging to national minorities, including legislation which extends the transition period until 2023 and which regulates exemption for private schools.”

Thus, the EU unequivocally says that the total Ukrainization of schools taking place in Ukraine is not at all European by nature, and, apparently, is not ready to forget about this violation of European principles.

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