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FUEN condemns funding cuts for minority language education in Poland

FUEN is deeply outraged by the amendment to the Budget Act for 2022 adopted by the Sejm, a chamber of the Polish Parliament, on Friday, 17.12.2021, which provides for a significant cut of PLN 39.8 million (about 10 million euros) in educational grants for minority language teaching. The cut mainly affects the teaching of German as a minority language but may have an equally serious impact on teaching opportunities for the other recognized minorities in Poland.

The German minority in Poland is entitled to have its mother tongue taught in the state school system so that it remains an essential part of its cultural identity. In accordance with the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities ratified by Poland and the Charter for the Protection of Regional and Minority Languages, the Germans in Poland, as an autochthonous national minority, have a right to receive this essential support. Only through this state support is it possible to maintain the teaching of German as a minority language. If the funding cut is maintained as planned, this will be a new and deep blow for the members of the German minority in Poland.

In an official letter to the members of the Polish Senate, the spokesman of AGDM and Chairman of the Board of VDG, Bernard Gaida, stated: "This reduction in educational subsidies means, above all, a lowering of educational standards for our children, further generations of Polish citizens belonging to national and ethnic minorities. These measures may affect the future of many rural schools in regions inhabited by minorities."

FUEN President Loránt Vincze expresses his dismay about the funding cuts and states: "It is incomprehensible that a national minority is deprived of the means to acquire its mother tongue and thus the basis for the maintenance and development of its identity." He assures the German minority the greatest possible support of the FUEN Presidium: "The FUEN will support the German minority in Poland by all means at its disposal and will address this matter in our political discussions at the highest level. We believe that the rights and funding of minority groups living in Poland should not be negatively affected due to ambitions aiming more support for Polish communities abroad."

FUEN calls on the relevant decision-makers of the Republic of Poland to withdraw the planned funding cuts and to ensure the continuation of German language teaching for members of the German minority.