The OPPOSITION BLOC faction, wanting to reunite society, protect the constitutional rights of Ukrainian citizens to freely use and develop their mother tongue, as well as repeal the discriminatory language law No. 2704-VIII, submitted to the Verkhovna Rada a draft law No. 10355 on adopting the Law “On Languages in Ukraine”.
According to the authors of the draft law No.10355 – MPs Oleksandr Vilkul and Vadym Novynskyi – the purpose of the document is the state provision of free development and functioning of the Ukrainian language as a state language, as well as the use and protection of minority languages.
Vadym Novynskyi, head of the OPPOSITION BLOC faction, argues that the discriminatory language law No. 2704-VIII (which will come into force on July 16, 2019) passed by the pro-government majority does not comply with the Constitution of Ukraine and international law, therefore it will be abolished by the proposed draft law “On languages in Ukraine” No. 10355. After all, the language law No. 2704-VIII introduces discrimination on the basis of language, depriving the rights of national minorities to the free development, use and protection of native languages.
Vadym Novynskyi insists that the Parliament, having adopted it, has gone beyond the limits of its authority established by the Constitution of Ukraine. According to the authors of the draft law “On Languages in Ukraine”, the state should perform an exclusively regulatory function in the implementation of citizens’ rights, taking into account linguistic diversity in Ukraine. Such an approach complies with the norms of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and complies with the content of international treaties of Ukraine.
In particular, the draft law “On Languages in Ukraine” stipulates that every citizen of Ukraine, regardless of ethnic origin, national cultural identity, place of residence or religious belief, has the right to freely use any language, study and support it. And the indigenous peoples, national minorities of Ukraine are guaranteed the right to study in educational institutions of all levels in the appropriate minority language along with the state language.
Moreover, according to the new Law “On languages in Ukraine”, every citizen will have the right to write and pronounce his surname and first name (middle name) in the state language in accordance with the traditions of the mother tongue, as well as the right to their official recognition.
In addition, by decision of local councils, a minority language may be additionally used if it is spoken by at least 10% of the population living in a given administrative territory. Regarding the media, they will, at their own discretion, be able to broadcast in the state or minority languages and other languages – in one or in several languages. The volumes of their broadcasting in different languages are determined by themselves in accordance with their own capabilities and the desires of the audience.
Oleksandr Vilkul, deputy head of the OPPOSITION BLOC faction, believes that the adoption of the Law “On Languages in Ukraine” as a basis will bring Ukraine closer to European standards for the protection of human rights in accordance with the principles of tolerance of the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the OSCE and the European Commission.
According to the draft law “On Languages in Ukraine,” minority languages are considered to be languages of indigenous peoples and national minorities. In the context of the “European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages”, they include: Belarusian, Bulgarian, Armenian, Gagauz, Greek, Jewish (Yiddish), Crimean Tatar, Moldavian, German, Polish, Roma, Russian, Romanian, Slovak, Hungarian, Ruthenian, Karaim, Crimean languages.