ECMI Publications Programme
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Moldova is deeply divided along language lines. The principal polarization is found in the gulf between the speakers of Russian and of the state language, Romanian/Moldovan. To the first category belong not only Russians, but also national minorities such as Ukrainians, Gagauzians and Bulgarians, who tend to employ Russian more than the state language. The two main linguistic groups inhabit two largely separate societal spheres, with different media and educational institutions. Meanwhile, Moldova's ratification of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (hereinafter the Language Charter) is still pending. While Moldova swiftly signed and ratified the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM), it limited itself to signing the Language Charter in 2002 - and still had to ratify ten years later. This working paper analyzes the reasons behind Moldova's linguistic divide, which seemingly translates into a resistance to the ratification of the Language Charter.