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The Verkhovna Rada Approves in Principle the Draft Law on Language Quotas on TV

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March 16, the Verkhovna Rada approves in principle in its first reading Draft Law No. 5313 “On Amendments to Some Laws of Ukraine on the Language of Audiovisual (Electronic) Mass Media”. The draft law was voted for by 244 MPs, as the “Detector Media” reports.

In particular, the draft law suggests establishing mandatory quotas of broadcasts and films on TV in the Ukrainian language. This is about 75% of the national language for public TV channels, 50% for regional ones, and 75% of the national language for news broadcasts.

That draft law was registered on 27 October, 2016 by the MPs Mykola Knyazhitsky, Viktoriya Syumar and others, and in February 2017, they submitted a revised version of the draft law.

On March 13, 2017, during the coordination board of the fractions’ leaders and chairmen of the committees the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada Andriy Parubiy stated that the draft law would be reviewed during the coming plenary week. On the same day, the draft law was reviewed by the relevant Committee on Liberty of Speech and Information Policy, which supported that document.

Let us recall that on 22 August 2016, in Kiev, during his meeting with the Ukrainian diaspora, the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko stated that the proportion of the Ukrainian language on some TV channels was too low and subject to increase.

On September 6, Petro Poroshenko appealed again from the Verkhovna Rada’s rostrum to the owners and top managers of TV channels to increase the share of the Ukrainian language on air. In response to the President’s appeal, Viktoriya Syumar informed that a relevant draft law was already elaborated and ready for voting.