The negative reaction of national minorities for the Article 7 of the Law on Education in Ukraine adopted in 2017 which, in their view, violated the right of national minorities to be taught in their own languages, became an indicator of lack of consensus between the national minorities and the Government of Ukraine in the educational issue. This caused serious tensions in Ukraine’s relations with the neighboring countries: Hungary and Romania. Bulgaria, Greece and Poland also expressed concern over the adoption of the mentioned Law. Although the transitional period of implementation of the language of instruction article in the Law on Education has been extended till 2023, it is obvious that it is necessary to intensify the dialogue between parties not only in this issue but also in other areas of cooperation.
Formation of the State Service of Ukraine for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience as a central executive body has become an important step of the Government of Ukraine in the context of intensification of cooperation with the national minorities. The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine will guide and coordinate the new body’s activities through the Minister of Culture. It will implement the state policy in the sphere of ethnic relations, religion and protection of the rights of national minorities (Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on June 12, 2019 № 503 «On the formation of the State Service of Ukraine for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience»).
Civil society may play a significant role in establishing an effective dialogue between the representatives of national minorities and the state authorities of Ukraine. The Center for Public Diplomacy, in particular, plans to work actively in this direction as well.