First passport page with original surname spelling

Issue of spelling polish surnames in Lithuania has been one of the biggest problems in polish-lithuanian relations

The State Commission of the Lithuanian Language once again looked into the matter of non Lithuanian names and surnames.

-We predict the possibility of allowing an original transcription of names and surnames on the first passport page. Exceptions should be clearly defined and documented, when it is possible to have original transcription. Such possibility should be available for people who for example married a foreigner – said to ‘Kurier Wileński’ Daiva Vaišnienė, boss of The State Commission of the Lithuanian Language.

-Application of the commission examining the matter of name and surname spelling is created based on projects from 2014. We examined two projects concerning spelling of non Lithuanian names and surnames. The project of May 3 group allows original surname transcription on the first passport page with letter such as ‘q’, ‘w’ and ‘x’. Alternative project allows original transcription only on the further passport pages – highlights Daiva Vaišnienė.

The project of May 3 group has been supported by 64 deputies, 25 voted against, 13 refrained from voting. Project has been accepted mainly with the votes of social democrats. Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania, conservatives and liberals. Votes of The Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union were nearly divided into half: 17 to 21. Project has been supported, among others, by Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis, conservatives leader Gabrielius Landsbergis and ex Prime Minister, social democrat Algirdas Butkevičius. Alternative project prepared by deputies of conservative party of Audroniusa Ažubalisa, Laurynasa Kasčiūnasa, Stasysa Šedbarasa, Vytautasa Juozapaitisa, Arvydasa Anušauskasa and Agnė Bilotaitė, allows for original transcription only on further passport pages.

The matter of spelling polish surnames in Lithuania has been for years one of the most touchy problems in polish-lithuanian relations. Implementing transcription of polish surnames in Lithuania and of lithuanian in Poland, allowing to use all diacritical marks is projected in polish-lithuanian treaty of 1994.

Tłumaczenie by Agnieszka Piontek w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Agnieszka Piontek within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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