In accordance with Part 5 of Article 49 of the Law of Ukraine “On Ensuring the Functioning of Ukrainian as the State Language”, the State Language Protection Commissioner Taras Kremin presented an annual public report on its activities and compliance with the Law.
The second-ever "Annual Report on the State of Compliance with the Language Law of Ukraine "On Ensuring the Functioning of Ukrainian as the State Language" in 2021" has been prepared under the martial law. Despite last year's attacks on the language law and the hostile practice of Russification of the occupied territories, the Ukrainian language is being strengthened and revived on the tongues of the most citizens of Ukraine, world Ukrainians, friends of Ukraine," Taras Kremin mentioned.
According to the Commissioner, in 2021 the Ukrainian language confidently won new victories. “ The sphere of customer service, which switched into Ukrainian on January 16, became the first conquered frontier. In July, the state language inflicted a crushing defeat on the "fifth column" in an attempt to repeal the state language law. The Constitutional Court of Ukraine not only recognized the law as constitutional one but also significantly strengthened the state status of the Ukrainian language as an integral element of the constitutional order of the state. The threat to language has been recognized as a threat to national security, " Taras Kremin said.
“In July 2021, a new stage of implementation of the law began which increased the presence of the state language in public space and strengthened its status as the state language. On July 16, in particular, not only the law’s provisions on compulsory state language examination for future civil servants and applicants for the Ukrainian citizenship came into force but also other articles related to culture and entertainment, book publishing and bookstores, film production, tourism, film screenings in cinemas and on television”, Taras Kremin states.
In total, the report consists of six sections. The section "Activities of the State Language Protection Commissioner " presents the real results that have been achieved for the protection and assertion of the state language. The largest part of the report “Application of the Ukrainian language as the state language in the spheres of public life” is structured in accordance with the articles of the law. The most important norms of the law and comments on their practical application are given in each of the spheres and the revealed problems are outlined.
Conclusions and recommendations on possible ways to resolve topical issues that deserve careful study and consideration in the activities of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, other public authorities and local governments are presented separately.
Thus, in his recommendations, the Commissioner reiterates the importance of approving the State Program to promote the acquisition of the state language as envisaged in art. 5 of the law.
"Unfortunately, linguocide in the occupied territories of Ukraine continues in hybrid forms. Discrimination on the basis of language has occurred and broken records for its resonance. However, violations of the language law, regardless of the sphere or region, as well as the audacity of a number of violators, were recorded in a timely manner. There’s another important thing. The nationwide preventive work, represented in the awareness-raising campaign initiated by us and supported by civil society, which is a force for strong appeals and statements in the media, warnings and corrected violations, gave comforting results achieved by the first language protection institution of independent Ukraine.
History has shown that the concept of "gentle Ukrainization" is not an ideal but the optimal way to implement the law borrowing the experience of Europe's leading language institutions. The way of work of our colleagues from EFNIL, who accepted Ukraine into the family of European language institutions of the EU member states as associate members, gives us, the pioneers in the real protection of Ukrainian as the state language and protection of the right of Ukrainian citizens to receive state language information and services as defined in art. 49, convincing arguments to follow the same course", Taras Kremin stressed.
“Ukrainian is the language of winners. Let's respect ourselves, let's communicate, let's win!” the Commissioner urged.
The text of the report is available on the website (ukr).