#Commentary of Elena Melnik on conclusions of Venice Commission on language articles of Ukrainian education act

In its desire to turn the education system into an organ of the Nazi propaganda, Ukraine has overstepped the mark, which has received a naturally negative reaction from Europe. This time, the law “On Education”, adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on September 5, 2017, was criticized by the Venice Commission, approving the expert opinion on the language provisions of the law.

A young man, the more so a child, is most vulnerable to ideological influence. Therefore, any dictatorship begins with the reform of the education system in order to educate loyal subjects. The new Ukrainian government was no exception. “Who owns the youth, owns the future,” Hitler said. Ukraine fully follows this Fuehrer covenant, educating a new generation of provincial Nazis.

What is it about the language provisions of the law on education that it took even the expert opinion of the Venice Commission on them?

In short, these provisions limit the ability of children to study in their native language. Now children will have to receive education exclusively in Ukrainian. The language provisions were directed primarily against the Russian language, but also struck the representatives of other national minorities in Ukraine, for example, Hungarians and Romanians. It was Hungary that resented the new law, bringing its discussion to the European level.

Hungary first appealed to the United Nations with a request to conduct an investigation, then tried to negotiate with Ukraine, after discussing the topic of the educational law in the EU and at PACE. As a result, on October 12, 2017, PACE passed a resolution criticizing this Ukrainian law. All this ended with the decision of the Venice Commission.

First, Ukraine was advised not to rush with the introduction of this law. Secondly, to interpret this law in the direction of providing teaching of national minorities’ representatives in their native language, if this is one of the official languages of the EU. Thirdly, with regard to the Russian language, which is not included in the number of official in the EU, it was recommended to review the legislation and solve the problem of violation of the rights of the Russian-speaking population.

“A less favorauble attitude toward these languages is difficult to justify, and therefore it raises the issue of discriminatory norms. With these considerations in mind, the correct solution would be to amend Article 7, which would replace this provision with a more balanced and clearly formulated,” the recommendations of the Venice Commission read.

However, for Ukraine the decision of the Venice Commission is not a decree. However, Ukraine decided to ignore its conclusion in an original way. The Ministry of Education of Ukraine issued a statement stating that the Venice Commission has no claims to the law on education.

In response, according to the Ukrainian press, the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that Ukraine was misinterpreting the conclusions of the Venice Commission and demanded that Ukraine implement its international obligations in the law on education.

Thus, the situation begins to get comic. The Ukrainian government once again demonstrates that it is able to turn a discussion of any issue into a circus. And it would be possible to really laugh at Ukraine again if it wasn’t for the children who will be deprived of the opportunity to know their native language because of adopting and introducing the new law.

Elena Melnik, the DPR People’s Council deputy

Official website of the DPR People’s Council

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