Podoliak: It is the parliament’s duty to adopt the language law in the second reading

The law on the state language will be adopted in the second reading at the end of February, the initiator of the document, member of the Samopomich faction, Iryna Podoliak, is convinced of this.

“I have absolute confidence that this bill will be adopted in the second reading in the next plenary week (February 25 – March 1). We do not know what the next Verkhovna Rada will be like and many people are sceptical about the composition of the next parliament. So it is our duty to adopt the language law in the second reading now.

The parliament supported the law on the state language in the first reading on October 4, 2018. 2,500 amendments have been made since. Iryna Podoliak says that a working group was set up after the first reading and for three weeks this group met almost daily to process all these amendments:

“Was it possible to satisfy all the wishes of all the deputies? Undoubtedly, no. Because some were mutually exclusive and rather controversial, if not harmful. There were a lot of amendments that directly returned the norms that allowed the introduction of languages of national minorities in certain territories. This could bring us back to the notorious Kivalov-Kolesnichenko law.”

There were also some norms in the draft law, which, despite patriotism, cannot be introduced, because Ukraine has international obligations and we could have been accused of violating human rights. For example, will the television and radio space be 100% Ukrainian?

“One can shout about 100% of broadcasting in Ukrainian, but what about those people whose language rights we are obliged to ensure on the basis of international treaties? Therefore, so far we leave 90% in the state language, and 10% in other languages,” explains Iryna Podoliak.

Another myth spread by lay people is the fact that once the law is passed, the very next day everyone will be forced to speak the Ukrainian language. This is not true.

“Another group of amendments concerns the language of science,” says Podoliak. “We were approached by representatives of Ukrainian science, which is not yet completely extinct and not all “plagiarised”. They asked to leave the state language and English as the languages of science. Because English is the language of science in the world, and our scientists demand integration into the world scientific space.”

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