The Venice Commissionthe Venice Commission – the Council of Europe, which assesses how the legislation complies with the norms of democracy published a full report on the Ukrainian monomo law.
We have previously published the main findings of this examination. Now the whole 30-page document posted on the Commission’s website.
The Ukrainian authorities consider the findings of the Venetians positive. They do have the thesis that the improvement of the state language is a plus.
However, officials are silent passages in which the Commission says about the infringement of other languages. In particular, Russian. And directly accusing Kiev of discrimination, the largest minorities.
“Country” checked what the document says about the role of the Russian language in Ukraine.
30% consider Russian their native language
At the beginning of the Commission’s experts give cut – what in Ukraine the situation with the ethnic groups and languages.
“Ukraine is a multinational country. According to the latest Ukrainian census in 2001, ethnic Ukrainians made up 77.8% of the population. Other major ethnic groups include Russians (17.3 percent), Belarusians (0.6 percent), Moldavians (0,5%), Crimean Tatars (0,5%), Bulgarians (0,4%), Hungarians (0,3%), Romanians (0,3%), poles (0,3%), Jews (0,2%), Armenians (0,2%), Greeks (0.2 percent). In Ukraine there are also smaller groups of Karaites (> 0,1%), Krymchaks (> 0.1%) and Gagauz (0.1 percent).
Although the Ukrainian language is the only official language of Ukraine, a significant number of ethnic Ukrainians and persons belonging to non-Russian minorities, speak the Russian language and even consider it their “mother tongue”. According to 2001 census, 67.5% of the population of Ukraine declared Ukrainian their “native language”, 29.6 per cent said that Russian is their “mother tongue””, – the document says.
We add here that the census of the population of the real situation here is not reflect. One thing – what language is considered a native, and what you really use in life (such a question on the census apparently decided not to ask). The Gallup study of 2008 Russian thought is very simple – take two of the questionnaire in Russian and Ukrainian languages. In the end, 83% of respondents took the Russian version and answered it.
Russian is protected by the Constitution
Venetian essentially repeated the thesis of the opponents movnogo of law in Ukraine: the status of the Russian language is protected in the Ukrainian Constitution and the new law does not reflect this.
“The Constitution also imposes the obligation to guarantee “free development, use and protection of Russian and other languages of national minorities of Ukraine” (article 10.3), which calls for a balanced approach in the use of languages.
However, the law in question (language – Ed.) almost exclusively focused on strengthening the use of the Ukrainian language, at the same time regulating the use of minority languages”.
That promised Ukraine Europe
The Commission said that giving minority language rights is an international obligation of Ukraine. Under which it is signed. Lists the following documents:
“Ukraine has ratified several international treaties on the protection of human rights, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of language and protecting minority rights – in particular, article 27 of the International Covenant on civil and political rights, framework Convention for the protection of national minorities and the European Charter for regional or minority languages. In its instrument of ratification, Ukraine has indicated that it will apply the language Charter to the following languages: Belarusian, Bulgarian, Gagauz, Greek, Jewish, Crimean Tatar, Moldovan, German, Polish, Russian, Romanian, Slovak and Hungarian language,” the report says.
However, the reality, according to the language law, was different.
Copy-paste of discrimination
The Venetian declares that the discriminatory provision of the law on education, which destroys the Russian language, migrated in movny the law.
“The Venice Commission recalls that encouraged the authorities to replace article 7 (the language of the educational article of the law – Ed.) more balanced and more clearly articulated position. The Commission came to the conclusion that the less favourable treatment of the Russian language and other languages outside the EU, it was difficult to justify, and raised the issue of discrimination. However, the constitutional court of Ukraine in its resolution No. 10-R / 2019 announced on 16 July 2019 the Law, including article 7, non-discriminatory, and therefore constitutional”, – the document says.
“A less favourable attitude to the Russian”
The Commission said that it is impossible to make a difference between minorities – when people with roots in the EU some rights for “indigenous peoples” – other, and for the Russian – the third.
“The Venice Commission believes that it is very difficult to see a reason to justify such differential treatment. The Venice Commission came to the conclusion that it is highly likely that a less favourable attitude to the Russian language (and other languages which are not official EU languages), unjustified in the light of the principle of non-discrimination, if you do not provide more convincing justification”, – is spoken in the document.
Interestingly, yesterday on a press-conferences the Deputy Minister of culture Anatoly Maksimchuk said that no allegations of discrimination Venetian not nominated, and asked only to justify this approach. However, the full text of the document shows that it is mildly not the case.
Just below, the Commission says it has received the justification of this approach from Kiev – and it does not suit her. Again sounded the word “discrimination”.
“Authorities explained this by the European ambitions of Ukraine and a century of oppression of the Ukrainian language in favor of Russian, which de facto created a privileged status for Russian in Ukrainian society. In the opinion of the Venice Commission, these arguments are not enough to outweigh the previous assessment of the Venice Commission, and they unconvincing from the point of view of human rights in General and discrimination in particular.
Foreign policy considerations – whether it is Pro-European policy of Ukraine and conflict with Russia over the annexation of Crimea – are not a valid argument in the discussion about the languages that citizens, including persons belonging to national minorities have the right to use.
As for the historical oppression of the Ukrainian language, this may lead to the adoption of positive measures aimed at promoting the Ukrainian language, but, in the opinion of the Venice Commission, this cannot justify the deprivation of the Russian language and its speakers living in Ukraine, the protection afforded by other languages and their speakers, leaving aside the fact that the “non-EU languages” covers not only Russian, but many other languages” – gives rebuke to Kiev’s Venice Commission.
Unhealthy hierarchy. Criticism of the idea of “indigenous peoples”
Below in this document experts the Venetians returned to the schools and said that the Ukrainian authorities create a situation when some Nations are treated more favorably than others.
“Representatives of the Bulgarian, Greek, German, Polish, Romanian and Hungarian minorities, in addition to the opportunity to study their mother tongue as a subject, can also examine one or more subjects in their language in second level education.
However, the representatives of national minorities who do not speak the official language of the EU, Belarusians, Gagauz, Jews, and, importantly, the Russians will be able to study their mother tongue as a subject only at the high school level.
Thus, at the high school level, a hierarchy is created in which indigenous peoples are potentially more favourable than to national minorities who speak official EU languages and national minorities who speak official EU languages are more favourable than to other national minorities”, – stated in the report of the Commission.
To equate all minorities
The same Venetian says about the timing of the transition period for minorities, “EU”, indigenous peoples and all other (read: Russian).
“Authorities explained this nuanced approach close relations between the Russian and Ukrainian languages, which would facilitate Russian-speaking migration to the new system. The Venice Commission is unable to assess whether this explanation is reasonable. Anyway, none of this explains why indigenous languages are the same as for the Russian language. The Commission therefore recommends to extend the transition period for students belonging to all national minorities – regardless of whether they are native speakers of the languages of the EU or outside the EU, and for indigenous peoples” – say the experts.
In General, as already wrote “the Country”, the Commission identified 9 main claims to monomo law.
First, the Commission stresses “the special place of Russian language in Ukraine.”
Secondly, it says that without the law, claiming the linguistic rights of national minorities, the current document is unbalanced. Experts say that the new law should be adopted with the participation of representatives of these national minorities.
Thirdly, the Commission calls not to make differences between the linguistic rights of minorities originating in the EU and the rest – that is, primarily Russian. And prolong their duration of adaptation period when switching to the Ukrainian language learning. Now “euroenglish” will learn in their native language until 2023, and Russian – up to 2020.
“The Commission recommends to extend the deadline for all national minorities and indigenous peoples”, – the document says.
Fourth, the Venetian advises to remove or reduce to a minimum the language of sanctions (i.e. penalties imposed by the movny Ombudsman). Or at least not to apply this rule until you earn the law on the protection of minority rights.
Fifth, States that quotas for radio and TV should be proportionate. Apparently, talking about the fact that the quotas should be distributed in accordance with the proportion of ethnic minorities. However, you should wait for the full text of the Commission’s findings.
Sixthly, it is proposed to allow the traders to communicate in the field of services in the language in which they are comfortable. To abolish draconian rules on mandatory Ukrainian stores, restaurants, sports clubs and so on. As well as in the private workflow.
Seventh, the Venetian wonders why the law does not make language-specific exception for extreme cases, contacting the police, the doctor and so on. It is proposed to introduce into law.
Eighth, sharply criticized the Commission and the provisions of the law on printed materials. It is proposed to remove the provision on the Ukrainian-zapechatyvanie circulation of Newspapers and magazines (that can kill their profitability). And allow to print campaign materials for election campaigns in any languages, and not only Ukrainian. Now other languages can only be used in places of compact residence of national minorities. The Venetian offers to remove this restriction.
Ninth, the need to abolish the rule of translation of place names into Ukrainian.Vic Wenk