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OPEN LETTER calling on Ukraine not to jeopardize publications in EU languages

OPEN LETTER calling on Ukraine not to jeopardize publications in EU languages
On 4 October 2018, Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) passed bill no. 5670-d, ensuring the functioning of Ukrainian as a state language, in the first reading.

While overall the bill is called to protect the Ukrainian language, some of its provisions endanger the existence of English language media in Ukraine. The draft law’s current version will require print and online media to publish, in addition to their primary language version, a version in Ukrainian. Taking into consideration all the nuances of running a media organ, English media (like Euromaidan Press, Kyiv Post, Business Ukraine, Ukraine World, What’s On and others) might simply cease to exist under new conditions.
That is why in the following letter we urge Ukrainian MPs to make an exemption for English and other EU languages.

Please sign the letter to support free English-language media in Ukraine HERE

OPEN LETTER calling on Ukraine not to jeopardize publications in EU languages

We, the undersigned, took notice of the draft law on Ukrainian state language No 5670-d, which passed the first reading in the parliament.

We noticed with concern that the draft in its current version can jeopardize media published in Ukraine in English and other EU languages (Kyiv Post, Business Ukraine, Lviv Today, the Odesa Review, What’s On, Ukrainian Weekly, Euromaidan Press, UkraineWorld and others).

If adopted in its current version, the law will demand these media (print and online) to have a second version, in Ukrainian. However, media in English and other EU languages are targeting foreign audiences, and benefit the country by explaining, from Ukraine, the situation in Ukraine. Additionally, in practical terms, media content in English or other EU languages, and Ukrainian cannot be identical with regard to topics, level of details, etc. as they target completely different audiences. Therefore, the demand to have a Ukrainian version in print and/or online will force these media to start up a different publication, which entails a drastic and unjustified increase of costs, possibly forcing some of them to close.

We understand the complex language situation faced by Ukraine, the dangers of Russian aggression and its influences, and the need in Ukraine to support the development of Ukrainian language and culture.

However, we also point at the fact that jeopardizing publications in English and other EU languages will have a negative impact on Ukraine’s image abroad, as well as the level of understanding of Ukrainian developments by foreign audiences. In the current situation, when Ukraine greatly needs the support and understanding of the international community, and when high-quality information about Ukraine in English and other EU languages is so scarce, this will be a very negative development.

Therefore, we call Ukrainian lawmakers to adopt amendments to the current draft law and introduce exemptions for publications in print press, and internet in English and other EU languages. The bill already provides such an exemption for TV and radio broadcasting, and for scientific publications. It is logical to extend it also to print and online media.

Signed by:

  • Harms Rebecca, Member of the European Parliament

  • Rosati Dariusz, Member of the European Parliament Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee

  • Vershbow Alexander, Former NATO Deputy Secretary General Atlantic Council, Distinguished Fellow

  • Krushelnycky Askold, Journalist Kyiv Post, Washington DC Correspondent

  • Gobert Sébastien, Journalist Press correspondent – cofounder of Collective Daleko-Blisko

  • Haring Melinda, Editor Atlantic Council, Editor of UkraineAlert blog

  • DE LARA PHILIPPE, philosopher assistant professor at Paris 2 university

  • Guillemoles Alain, Journalist and Writer French daily paper La Croix

  • Yermolenko Volodymyr, editor in chief at UkraineWorld, senior expert at Internews Ukraine

  • Shandra Alya, Journalist Euromaidan Press, editor-in-chief

  • Scambiato Licciardi Luciano, Strategic Communications Adviser EUAM Ukraine

  • Aleksevych Mariia, Journalist EU Advisory Mission

  • Chernyshov Roman, EUAM Ukraine, Media Officer

  • Kolyba Iryna, Accounting Officer EUAM Ukraine

  • Aldershoff Willem, Analyst international affairs Former Head of Unit, European Commission

  • Prazdnichnykh Anzhela, Event organiser Independent

  • Aldershoff Masha, student independent

  • Saxegaard Olaf, Consultant Private company, owner

  • Havlicek Pavel, Analyst Association for International Affairs (AMO) in Prague

  • Chuhuyevska Maryna, lawyer EUAM, Civlian security sector reform Component Assistant

  • GRYTSENKO Sergiy, Journalism INTERNEWS (USA), Manager

  • Niland Paul, Founder & CEO, Statement Email. Writer, Kyiv Post, Atlantic Council & other publications.

  • Zhytenko Irina, EU Edvisory Mission Ukraine, Coordination and cooperation officer

  • Wassink Lambert, EUAM Ukraine

  • Coynash Halyna, Kharkiv Human Rights Group

  • Carriero Gianfranco, EUAM

  • Klein Eduard, Scientist Research Centre for East European Studies at the University of Bremen, editor of Ukraine-Analysen

  • Mudrak Viktoriia, Social scientist EUAM, analyst

  • Makarenko Olena, Journalist Euromaidan Press

  • Roache Madeline, Journalist Freelance journalist

  • MOSKALU VIOLETA, Editor-in-chief Global Ukraine News

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