Open letter calling on Ukraine not to jeopardize publications in EU languages

October 22, 2018
We, the undersigned, took notice of the draft law on Ukrainian state language No 5670-d, which passed the first reading in the parliament.
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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.

You can sign the letter here.

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 Lare 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,, 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