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Verkhovna Rada may adopt amendments to law on national minorities

Tuesday, 5 December 2023, 08:36
Verkhovna Rada may adopt amendments to law on national minorities
Photo: Olga Stefanishyna on Facebook

Olha Stefanishyna, Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, has said that the Verkhovna Rada would adopt amendments to the law on national minorities this week to meet the European Commission's criterion for opening accession negotiations with the EU.

Source: European Pravda; Olha Stefanishyna in a statement after a meeting with Laurence Boone, French Secretary of State for European Affairs, in Paris; Ukrinform.

The official noted that the Ukrainian MPs had decided not to delay the decision so as not to give opportunities for speculation about Ukraine's ability to streamline its legislation in line with EU requirements. 

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"First of all, we communicated with national communities. It was almost a year of dialogue, and we understood their expectations and needs – and this law will satisfy them. It also considers the commission's conclusions; we have found solutions to the most painful issues," Stefanishina said. 

She added that we are also talking about changes to the legislation on education, which "provide for a more understandable approach to the educational process in schools where education takes place in the language of national minorities."

"It was decided to create additional safeguards to make it impossible to leak Russian narratives and propaganda. We are talking about certain restrictions on the state language of the aggressor country, the occupying country. They are a red thread running through the draft law itself," Stefanishina concluded. 

Previously, the official stated that the new draft law aimed at protecting national minorities does not provide for expanding opportunities for the Russian language. 

Note: In a report published on 8 November, the European Commission recommended starting accession negotiations with Kyiv, but before that, Ukraine must implement some of the reforms that have not yet been implemented. 

The Ukrainian authorities claim they are determined to comply with the EU's requirement for minority rights and to do so as soon as possible, possibly even before the December EU summit.

At the moment, the "green light" may be hindered by Hungary, which has promised to block a positive decision for Kyiv. 

For more information about the problems of the government's draft law on national minorities and how to fix them, see the article: Limiting Hungarian pressure on Ukraine: two concessions Kyiv should reject on its way to the EU.

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