The preliminary findings of the ‘Study on strengthening the protection of national minorities in Ukraine: executive structures and specialised dialogue mechanisms in an international comparative perspective’ were presented in Kyiv, Ukraine, on 15th of November.
The joint European Union and Council of Europe project “Strengthening the protection of national minorities in Ukraine” together with the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine conducted a seminar for the representatives of the local state administrations, who are responsible for the national minorities issues. The questions raised during the presentation focused on the executive structures existing at the central and local level, specialized advisory and dialogue mechanisms. Moreover, models existing in other Council of Europe member states were presented.
The study was commissioned by the Council of Europe’s No Hate Speech and Cooperation Unit in June 2018 in order to take stock of the current status of Ukraine’s diversity governance, specifically with regard to how the executive structures and consultative mechanisms deal with national minority issues. The methodology of the study, conducted by Council of Europe experts, was based on assessment, data collection, internal review, consultation with the stakeholders, and analysis in the comparative perspective of the situation existing in Ukraine and in such countries as Czech Republic, Romania, Germany and Serbia.
The main task of the presentations of the experts, Ljubica Djordjevic and Nataliia Mekahal, was to discuss with the participants the main findings and to receive their feedback. There is a general agreement among participants that more resources need to be assigned to the units and consultative bodies that implement the policies on minority protection. It is also important to strengthen the competence of the civil servants and to support the institutional capacity of the local administrations.
Andriy Yurash, Director of the Department for Religious Affairs and Nationalities, Ministry of Culture of Ukraine, stressed the necessity to provide the sustainable policy towards the creation of the separate units in the regions, as well as at the central level, which should tackle the problems and support the national minorities in Ukraine.
Olena Lytvynenko, Deputy Head of the Council of Europe Office in Ukraine, reassured the participants that the Council will work together with the Ukrainian government and the national minority organisations by providing support to the protection of national minorities’ rights in accordance with CoE standards set by the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM) and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML).