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Deteriorating situation of national minorities in Ukraine

Motion for a resolution | Doc. 14643 | 10 October 2018

Mr Barna Pál ZSIGMOND, Hungary, EPP/CD ; Ms Mónika BARTOS, Hungary, EPP/CD ; Mr Koloman BRENNER, Hungary, NR ; Mr Corneliu Mugurel COZMANCIUC, Romania, EPP/CD ; Mr Zsolt CSENGER-ZALÁN, Hungary, EPP/CD ; Ms Katalin CSÖBÖR, Hungary, EPP/CD ; Ms Zita GURMAI, Hungary, SOC ; Mr Frank HEINRICH, Germany, EPP/CD ; Ms Hajnalka JUHÁSZ, Hungary, EPP/CD ; Mr Attila KORODI, Romania, EPP/CD ; Ms Elvira KOVÁCS, Serbia, EPP/CD ; Mr Jenő MANNINGER, Hungary, EPP/CD ; Ms Stefana MILADINOVIĆ, Serbia, SOC ; Mr Lőrinc NACSA, Hungary, EPP/CD ; Mr Zsolt NÉMETH, Hungary, EPP/CD ; Ms Biljana PANTIĆ PILJA, Serbia, EPP/CD ; Mr Aleksandar ŠEŠELJ, Serbia, NR ; Mr Tritan SHEHU, Albania, EPP/CD ; Mr Davor Ivo STIER, Croatia, EPP/CD ; Mr Ionuț-Marian STROE, Romania, EPP/CD ; Mr Attila TILKI, Hungary, EPP/CD

In Resolution 2189 (2017) on the new Ukrainian law on education adopted on 12 October 2017, the Parliamentary Assembly expressed again – reiterating its conclusions in Resolution 2145 (2017) – its serious concerns about the articles relating to education in minority languages of the new Education Act and asked the Ukrainian authorities to fully implement the recommendations and conclusions of the European Commission for Democracy through law (Venice Commission), as confirmed by President Poroshenko before the Assembly.

In spite of the call of the Assembly, contrary to its international obligations, Ukraine not just ignored the implementation of the already adopted recommendations of the Venice Commission on the Education Law and the provisions of Resolution 2189 (2017), but the Verkhovna Rada adopted a bill on ensuring the functioning of Ukrainian as State language (no. 5670-D) on 4 October 2018, without any previous consultations with the representatives of national minorities and without requesting the opinion of the Council of Europe.

The new bill drastically increases the threshold of using minority languages and stipulates the exclusive use of the State language in State bodies and in public spheres of life by introducing strong protective measures and foresees imprisonment of three years in case of unlawful practice of the state language.

Violent attacks and intimidations against national minorities are increasing in Ukraine. Even the headquarters of the largest Hungarian association was set on fire in February 2018. On 23 June 2018, a Roma settlement near Lviv was attacked killing one person and injuring several others.

Following the situation surrounding the Education Law, the Language Law, and in the light of this changed legal environment, the Assembly should follow up on the deteriorating situation of national minorities in Ukraine by preparing a report on national minority rights and the fulfilment of international commitments by Ukraine.