- January 16, 2012
The Polish Charter once again gets on the nerves of conservatives
Our position on this matter is simple: the Polish Charter should be legally reassessed, said Landsbergis.
Vytautas Landsberigs, a conservative Member of the European Parliament, wants the Constitutional Court to assess the legality of granting of the Polish Charter to Lithuanian Poles. Landsbergis made this appeal during the Saturday meeting of the Council of the Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats (HU/LChD). Landsbergis is the honorary president of the party and the Chairman of the Political Council of HU/LChD, which is the advisory political organ of the conservative party.
Simple matter. Easy question – are those that possess the Polish Charter and committed themselves to the Polish government not to harm Poland and Polishness, because otherwise they will lose the Charter, to their public shame among their compatriots, already subordinate, can they work in state services, where one has to make promises to Lithuania? They had already committed themselves to another country (…) – said Landsbergis.
The Saturday words uttered by the honorary president of the conservatives, the party which governs Lithuania, create a discord with the statement of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which was made a day before, on the 20th anniversary of signing of the Declaration on Friendly Relations and Neighbourly Cooperation between Poland and Lithuania. The Polish department of foreign affairs expressed the hope that the will, which had led to the signing of the Declaration, still lives on.
In the statement of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, one can read “Two decades from this historic moment, the Declaration remains a proof that the Polish-Lithuanian relations may be based on mutual respect and friendship. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland hopes that the will which had led to the signing of the Declaration, still lives on.”
Meanwhile, among the rows of Lithuanian conservatives, similarly to the dignitaries of the Belarusian regime, granting of the Polish Charter to the Polish minority in the East is considered to be an act of Warsaw’s hostility towards Vilnius and Minsk.
Last year, in April, the regime Constitutional Court in Minsk, following the order of the puppet parliament, decided that granting of the Polish Charter to the Belarusian Poles is against the Belarusian and the international law.
Now, in Lithuania, Vytautas Landsbergis also encourages his fellow party members from the parliament to bring the Polish Charter to the Lithuanian Constitutional Court.
Once again, we have clear recommendations referring to all sorts of pig (dirty) tricks (lit.— visokių šunybių, which literally means „all sorts of dog (dirty) tricks”) made by some of our citizens who are manipulated, or (referring – author) to a foreign country, which acts oddly. Our recommendation is very simple: we need a legal reassessment of the Polish Charter, said Landsbergis. He also expressed his regret that the Lithuanian members of parliament lacked the will in April last year, when Gintaras Songaila, one of the conservative members of parliament at that time, put forward a motion to bring the Polish Charter to the Lithuanian Constitutional Court. Then, Songaila suggested that the Constitutional Court should explain whether a member of parliament, who made a pledge to be faithful to the Lithuanian state, can possess a document of a foreign country, granting of which is conditioned by undertaking of some commitments. Landsbergis, Songaila and other opponents of the Polish Charter are of the opinion that the condition, that the one receiving the Polish Charter commits himself/herself not to harm Poland and Polishness, otherwise the Charter will be taken away from him, is contradictory to the loyalty oath towards the Lithuanian state.
Last year activities of Songaila were just another attempt to refer the Polish Charter to the Constitutional Court.
Earlier, the Lithuanian Seimas had not approved Jarosław Narkiewicz for the post of a vice-chairman of the Committee of Education. Jarosław Narkiewicz is aMember of Parliament of Polish origin, who was accused that he may have the Polish Charter.
Currently, the Polish Charter is possessed by over 4,000 Lithuanian Poles, including the leaders of Polish organisations, e.g. Michał Mackiewicz, Member of Parliament and the president of the Association of Poles in Lithuania, as well as Waldemar Tomaszewski, Member of the European Parliament and the leader of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania.
The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs had assured several times that the Polish Chapter is not directed against anyone or any country.
“Possessing of the Polish Charter does not put the citizens’ loyalty of Poles to their countries in jeopardy”, as the last year statement of the Polish department of foreign affairs read. The department emphasises also that the Polish Charter is not contradictory to the international law, because, as the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs previously informed, Poland had presented the Polish Charter to the Organization for Security and the Co‑operation in Europe and the Organization had stated that the Polish Charter is not against any of the principles of the OSCE, meaning the principles of democracy, states’ sovereignty, and good neighbourhood.
Tłumaczenie Sylwia Janus w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Sylwia Janus within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.
Korekta Małgorzata Juchniewicz. w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Corrected by Małgorzata Juchniewicz. within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu