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Ukraine/ 5.1 General legislation  

5.1.9 Language laws

The main principles of language policy of Ukraine are presented and defined in the Constitution of Ukraine and laws of Ukraine: Law on Languages, Law on Education, Law on Pre-School Education, Law on Secondary Education, Law on Vocational Technical Training, Law on Higher Education, Law on National Minorities in Ukraine, Law on Information, Law on Television and Radio Broadcasting, Law on Publishing, and Law on Printed Media (Press) in Ukraine. Besides, there are numerous normative and legal documents and government programmes formulating public policies in the area of national language and languages of national minorities.

Since 2005, the State Committee on Nationalities and Religions (now a department of the Ministry of Culture) has had a special budget for implementing partially the provisions of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages concerning the protection of languages in the area of culture and information.

State TV companies located in the regions have special language quotas on programmes broadcast in the languages of national minorities. This provision is found in the laws on national minorities. In general, TV and Radio companies in 17 regions broadcast for national minorities, in particular, in Transcarpathian, Zhytomyr, Odessa, Chernivtsi, Crimea (now – annexed), Lviv, Donetsk and other regions. The Transcarpathian Regional State TV and Radio Company (RSTRC) has TV and radio editorial staffs broadcasting in Hungarian, Slovak, German, Romanian, Polish and Roma languages. The total annual volume of TV / Radio programmes in Hungarian constitutes 92/164 hours, in Slovak – 48/48 hours, in Romanian – 95/112 hours, and in German – 40/32 hours. Zhytomyr RSTRC broadcasts in Polish and Czech and the State TV and Radio Company "Crimea" broadcasts in Crimean-Tatar, Armenian, Bulgarian, Greek and German languages. The Chernivtsi RSTRC has a special creative formation of TV and radio programmes in Romanian. The Odessa RSTRC broadcasts in Moldavian, Bulgarian and Gagauz languages and the radio company "News of Transdniestria" prepares special broadcasts in the Moldavian, Bulgarian, Jewish, Gagauz, Greek and Byelorussian languages. Mariupol TV in Donetsk region broadcasts in Greek, and the radio company "Independence" in Lviv region broadcasts in Polish (Source: State Committee of Ukraine on Television and Radio Broadcasting, 2013).

The Law on the Principles of the State Language Policy in Ukraine, approved in August 2012, which triggered protests in different parts of Ukraine, was annulled in February 2014. However, this triggered even sharper conflicts (see chapter 4.2.5).

Chapter published: 05-06-2015

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