Ukraine's Rada should postpone language bill vote, Council of Europe says
Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovic called on the Ukrainian parliament to postpone the adoption of this important legislation for the post-election period rather than consider the bill during the campaign.
When discussing any new law or reforming language policies on the use of languages, Council of Europe member states should carefully balance the legitimate aim of supporting the state language and the duty to protect and support the use of minority languages and preserve cultural diversity, according to Mijatovic, the CoE press service told European Pravda, reads a report delivered in Ukrainian.
The Commissioner noted that various language groups should be effectively involved in the process of developing such laws and policies, and their views should be duly taken into account.
The statement adds that, in the context of an election campaign, such discussions often become polarized and do not contribute to the adoption of balanced decisions.
Therefore, Mijatovic urged the Ukrainian parliament to postpone the adoption of this important legislation for the post-election period.
The Verkhovna Rada on late February began to consider in the second reading the law "On ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as a state language". The law states that the only state (official) language in Ukraine is Ukrainian – and it is obligatory for state authorities and in the public sphere throughout the country.
Public humiliation or neglect of the Ukrainian language will entail liability.
Officials are required to speak the state language and use it while performing their official duties.