The Venice Commission has made a decision on Ukraine’s law on language

The Ukrainian authorities are advised to revise the law on the state language and prepare a law on national minorities.

The Ukrainian authorities must strike a balance in language policy so that the language problem does not become a source of interethnic tensions in Ukraine, the Korespondent informed. This was the conclusion of the Venice Commission, which reviewed the law of Ukraine on language, the press service of the Council of Europe reported on Friday, December 6.

"Given the special place of the Russian language in Ukraine, as well as the infringement of the Ukrainian language in the past, the Venice Commission is fully aware of the need to promote the use of Ukrainian as the national language. Therefore, the fact that the state language law provides for positive steps in this direction deserves approval" – the conclusion reads.

The Venice Commission also welcomed the fact that, in a number of regions, the law provides for the use of minority languages along with the state one, citing applicable law on minorities.

"However, the law on minorities has not yet been drafted, although it should have been drafted at the same time as the law on the state language to ensure the necessary balance from the outset. The Council of Europe experts urge Ukraine to draft a law on minorities without delay and to consider deferral of the implementation of the law on the state language provisions, which have already come into force, until that law enters into force," – the experts said.

The Commission also recommends to extend the transitional period for implementation of the law on education for all national minorities and indigenous peoples, and not only for students whose mother tongue is an EU language.

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