Assessment of the situation with the study of the Gagauz and the Romanian languages in ATU Gagauzia
The Gagauz language, which is one of the official languages in the autonomous territorial unit Gagauz-Yeri in the south of Moldova, is among the endangered languages and requires restoration and protection, including by the state. The level of command and use of the Gagauz language is insufficient. The level of command of the Romanian language in ATU Gagauz-Yeri is insufficient, which prevents the creation of the necessary conditions for the full participation of residents of the autonomy in the social, cultural and political life of the country, holding positions in the leadership of the central level, as well as increasing the level of social cohesion of society. The lack of serious attention to this issue may lead to a situation in which the Gagauz-Yeri autonomy will exist in isolation from the national processes.
This paper analyses the relevant legislation, including the international one, presents a thorough analysis of the current situation, highlights the point of view of the autonomy’s residents with regard to the study and knowledge of the Gagauz and Romanian language, analyzes a number of programs and policies of the government and authorities of the autonomy, aimed to resolve these issues.
The present research was carried out within the framework of the project “Promoting social cohesion in Moldova through the study of Gagauz and Romanian languages in Gagauz-Yeri autonomous territorial unit”, implemented by the Institute for Strategic Initiatives with the financial support granted by the Soros Foundation Moldova and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The opinions expressed in this study are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Soros Foundation in Moldova or the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.