A Commentary on EU Documents Has Been Published in the Ukrainian Language


A Commentary on EU Documents Has Been Published in the Ukrainian Language

Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, Treaty on the EU, and Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU. A commentary on these three founding documents that govern the EU has now been published also in Ukrainian. A team of translators and lawyers from across Czech universities, led by the Faculty of Law of Charles University, has participated in the publication.

The documents regulate the functioning of the European Union and they are the cornerstones of the European Community, which Ukraine would like to join. Even some existing member states of the EU still do not yet have commentaries on the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, Treaty on the EU, and Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU in their own languages. However, a team of lawyers from the faculties of law of Charles University, Masaryk University, Palacký University, and University of West Bohemia ensured that it was published in the Czech language in 2022 on the occasion of the Czech EU Presidency. At that time, the team also came up with the idea of approaching experienced translators and publishing the commentary in Ukrainian. Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala took patronage of the project.

This scientifically demanding and comprehensive work was published by Wolters Kluwer on the occasion of the two-year anniversary of the Russian aggression in Ukraine. In addition, Professor Michal Tomášek from the Department of European Law at the Faculty of Law of Charles University, expert guarantor of the project, announced on 26 February in the Karolinum during the official launch of the commentary that an online version is available in Ukraine for free to everyone who is interested. Professor Tomášek also noted that the Ukrainian Constitutional Court has already expressed its appreciation for the publication.

“It is very important that Ukraine, on its way to join the EU, receives a commentary prepared by Czech authors because our thinking about law is very similar to theirs. The more similar thinking about law is, the easier it is for the readers to read. Imagine the contrast if, for example, Ukraine received a British or German commentary. Our historical experience and approach to a range of terms and institutions is very similar,” noted Professor Tomášek, who also highlighted the work of his colleague from the same department, Associate Professor Václav Šmejkal, who was another important contributor to the project.

Apart from Professor Tomášek, the official launch of the Ukrainian commentary was attended by the Rector of Charles University, Professor Milena Králíčková, and the Minister for European Affairs, Martin Dvořák, who emphasized how important the idea of a free Europe living in peace is for him.

“We have lived for eighty years in peace, that is an unprecedented length of time. This is why it is our duty to help Ukraine so that it can defend itself against the aggressor. It is our duty to take in war refugees who have lost their relatives and homes in the devastating war. It is also our duty to make decisions which will allow Ukraine to develop and to live freely in the years to come. I believe that Ukraine’s membership in the European Union is a step in the right direction. I am not naive to believe that the aggressor will end the brutal war overnight. It is worth reminding ourselves again and again of the words of Václav Havel that ‘Russia’s problem is that it doesn’t know where it begins and where it ends’. It is all the more necessary to make it clear where a free and democratic Europe starts, that it is a place where there is no space for evil empires, where no one need be afraid to express their opinion, and where basic human rights are respected. Ukraine belongs in the free world. It is our duty to do everything we can and everything in our power to ensure its accession to this community,” stressed the Minister. He also added that the publication, which he launched in the Karolinum, has an important symbolic meaning.

The Rector of Charles University, Professor Milena Králíčková, noted that she was very pleased that Charles University was involved in such important activities. “I will frame this activity in the context of everything that CU has been trying to do to support Ukraine since 2022. This beautiful ornament and gemstone that we will launch today forms part of our support of Ukrainian students. CU has offered places to study to hundreds of Ukrainian students. I am very pleased that many of them are successful in our programmes of study and some have already graduated. In addition to assisting Ukrainian students, we have been able to support dozens of Ukrainian academics,” said the Rector. She also recalled that on Monday morning dozens of scientists from Ukraine met in the Karolinum to discuss how they can apply for European research grants or how they can participate in university alliances or the Eastern Partnership University Cluster project. You can read a report about this inspirative meeting here. You can read about scientists from Ukraine who are continuing their research at CU in the UK Forum magazine report.

The Ukrainian commentary on the founding documents of the European Union was symbolically received by the Deputy Foreign Minister Jan Marian in the Karolinum on Monday. The Deputy Foreign Minister acted on behalf of the Ukrainian Chargé d'affaires Vitali Usatyj who could not attend the official launch for serious reasons.

The article has been adopted from the editorial office of Forum UK.

AUTHOR: Helena Zdráhalová
PHOTO: Hynek Glos