Union Fédéraliste des Communautés Ethniques Européennes
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FUEN condemns the discrimination of German children in Poland

The Federal Union of European Nationalities strongly condemns the discriminatory legal acts adopted recently in the Republic of Poland. These procedures and the rhetoric accompanying them gravely harm the whole German minority in Poland and especially the children.

Despite strong opposition, on 17 December 2021 the Polish Sejm adopted an amendment to the 2022 Budget Act, which provides a significant cut of PLN 39.8 million (about 10 million euros) in educational grants for minority language teaching. The Polish Senate proposed an amendment that would have restored the funds, but to no prevail: this amendment was rejected on 27 January 2022.

On 4 February 2022 it became obvious that this action was meant to affect the teaching of German as a minority language: on this date, the Polish Minister of Education and Science Przemysław Czarnek published the amendments to the regulation on teaching minority languages, in which a paragraph about language classes in minority languages was changed from “to the extent of 3 hours per week”, to " to the extent of 3 hours per week and, in the case of pupils belonging to the German minority, 1 hour per week”.

FUEN considers this a clear case of discrimination against the German minority and children belonging to the German community. This amendment introduces a dangerous double standard, which is in contradiction to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Poland’s own Law on National and Ethnic Minorities, and, most importantly, the Council of Europe’s European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, an international act signed and ratified by Poland.

FUEN finds it 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. FUEN believes 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, and the rights and future of children should never be put in jeopardy due to political reasons.

FUEN reiterates its continuous support for the German minority in Poland, will work on finding a solution to this problem by all means at its disposal and will address this matter in political discussions at the highest level.


Photo source: source: klimkin/pixabay