July 16 marks three years of the Law of Ukraine "On Ensuring the Functioning of Ukrainian as the State Language". Having become one of the most important documents in the recent history of the state, which millions of Ukrainians had been waiting for, it contributes to the rapid progress of the Ukrainian word in all spheres of public life of Ukraine.
Then, in 2019, the adoption of the Language Law created essential conditions for the consolidation of Ukrainian society. We witnessed the strengthening of national identity, especially in the conditions of a full-scale war, because the level of support for the Ukrainian language is unprecedented and irreversible.
Despite numerous attacks by the "fifth column", raging political disputes, repeated attempts to cancel the Language Law, and intentions to correct its proper articles, the Law, which reflects world language practice and is protected by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, operates effectively and has exceptional support from Ukrainian society.
Over the years since the Language Law has been in effect, we have achieved tremendous results. Ukrainian can be heard everywhere: in supermarkets, cinemas, universities, museums, gyms, polyclinics, and public transport. And with the beginning of the full-scale war of russia against Ukraine, Ukrainian became a real identifier of our own’s and others’. Language unites Ukrainians and makes us a strong, truly European nation. Today, the entire civilized world perceives Ukrainian as the language of the brave, freedom-loving, and unconquered.
The key principle, underlying the Language Law, is gradual Ukrainization, because the implementation of individual articles is stretched over time (takes place every six months):
• since January 16, 2020, Article 32 came into force, which determines the use of the state language in the sphere of advertising;
• since July 16, 2020 - the use of the state language in the sphere of science (Article 22), in technical and project documentation (Article 31), in the spheres of health care (Article 33), transport (Article 36), office management, document circulation, correspondence and reporting (Article 37);
• since January 16, 2021 - the use of Ukrainian in the service sector (Article 30);
• since July 16, 2021, Articles 7 and 10 came into force, which determine the beginning of the state language proficiency test for future civil servants, as well as those who want to acquire Ukrainian citizenship; also on July 16, 2021, Articles 23 and 26 came into force – the use of the state language in the sphere of culture, as well as the use of Ukrainian in the sphere of book publishing and book distribution;
• since January 16, 2022 - use of the state language in the sphere of printed media (Article 25).
On July 16, 2022, a new important stage of the implementation of the norms of the Language Law begins which will increase the presence of Ukrainian in the public space and strengthen its status as a state language. The second and sixth parts of Article 27 of the Language Law, which regulate the use of the state language on the Internet and the language of interfaces of computer programs installed on goods, come into force today. Also, since July 16, 2022, the Commissioner will be able to impose fines on officials of state bodies and local governments, managers, and employees of enterprises, institutions and organizations of all forms of ownership, and other natural persons who violate the Language Law.
Taras Kremin, the State Language Protection Commissioner, emphasizes: "In conditions of war, non-compliance with language legislation is playing into the hands of the enemy. Creating better conditions for mastering the language and its development, monitoring its use in relevant areas, and protecting the rights of citizens to receive information and services from the state is our priority.
By affirming the Ukrainian language, we protect our independence.
By communicating in our native language, we bring the Ukrainian victory closer.
Glory to Ukraine!"