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 (http://w1.c1.rada.gov.ua/pls/zweb2/webproc4_1?pf3511=61994), 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 Odessa 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
Huebner Danuta Maria Professor MEP, AFCO Chair
Aslund Anders Professor Atlantic Council, Senior Fellow
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
Bonner Brian Journalist Kyiv Post Chief Editor
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
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
Hakala Heikki Senior Contributing Editor, Finland
Serhatskova Kateryna Journalist Zaborona.com, CEO. Cross Media NGO, CEO
Dovbenko Mariia Communications Stratcom Ukraine, Communication Manager
Piwowar Paweł NGO activist Freedom and Entrepreneurship Foundation (Poland)
Claudin Carmen Researcher Associate Senior Researcher, CIDOB, Barcelona, Spain
Fesiak Andrew Independent Researcher
MacDonald Euan Journalist Kyiv Post, News Editor
Istomina Tamara Journalist Kyiv Post lifestyle reporter
Melkozerova Veronika journalist Kyiv Post, staff writer
Sukhov Oleg journalist Kyiv Post
Daria Shulzhenko Journalist Kyiv Post lifestyle reporter
Laurenson Jack Journalist Kyiv Post
Petrov Volodymyr Photographer Kyiv Post photojournalist
Kupfer Matthew Journalist Kyiv Post
Kyslytska Anna Journalist Blow Up Press (Poland)
Roudier de Lara Hélène Teacher Education Nationale
Talant Bermet Journalist Kyiv Post
Senjov-Makohon Natalie Academic Retired
Krasnikov Denys Journalist Kyiv Post, journalist
Datskevych Natalia journalist Kyiv Post, journalist
Elia Danilo Journalist RAI, Public Broadcaster of Italy
Lodder Cornelis Officer (ret.) Royal Dutch Army Former Dutch Defence Attaché in Ukraine
Makohon Roman Medical Practitioner Clinician at Eastbrooke Family Medical Centre Essendon Victoria Australia
Jendras Richard Deacon St. Demetrius Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral Carteret, NJ
Getmanchuk Alyona New Europe Center, director
Malanchuk Maria interprète de conférence institutions européennes
Stout P. H. International Sales Manager Vice President
Serres Dominique Retired, previously bank Previously head of international retail banking activities in a large French bank


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