15:40 11.01.2018

Romania still believes language clause of education law affects rights of minorities in Ukraine - Melescanu

Romania still believes language clause of education law affects rights of minorities in Ukraine - Melescanu

The Romanian authorities insist that the language of instruction clause of the Ukrainian law on education has a negative impact on the national minorities living in the country, Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu has said.

"Romania continues to hold the view that Article 7 of the new law on education has a negative impact on ethnic minorities," he said at a joint news conference with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin in Chernivtsi on Thursday.

According to Melescanu, Romania considers it necessary to hold consultations with representatives of local communities regarding the processes relating to their rights.

"The Romanian side considers it necessary that all those proposals that were made by Romania could be reflected in additional documents that could be introduced into Ukrainian legislation," he added.

As reported, the Ukrainian law on education came into force on September 28, 2017.

Among other things, the law stipulates that the state language is a language of learning at educational institutions, but one or several subjects in two or more languages, namely, the state language, English and other European Union official languages can be taught in compliance with the educational program.

People, who belong to ethnic minorities, are guaranteed the right for learning in the native language along with the Ukrainian language in separate groups of municipal pre-school and primary school institutions.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry sent the education law for examination by the Venice Commission.

On December 8, the Ukrainian Education and Science Ministry reported that the Venice Commission had not supported Hungary's accusation of narrowing the rights of national minorities in the article on the language of instruction in Ukraine's law on education.

On December 11, the ministry said that it was grateful to the Venice Commission for its work on providing conclusions on the language of instruction article of the education law, was ready to implement its recommendations and had already developed three models for the implementation of this article in the law on general secondary education.

On December 13, Ukrainian Education and Science Minister Lilia Hrynevych said that a draft law on secondary education with explanations on the use of languages in education, in accordance with the conclusions of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission), was to be submitted for consideration by the Verkhovna Rada in the spring of 2018.

"Now, given these conclusions, we need to formulate models of education for national minorities in the law on general secondary education. That is, we will not make any changes to Article 7 [on the language of instruction] of the law on education," she told journalists.

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