• May 16, 2012
  • 55

The Issue still not in progress

Fot. Marian Paluszkiewicz

The deadlock in polish education system in Lithuania  solving process seems to be deep settled. The statement made at Tuesday by Minister of Education and Science – Gintaras Steponavičius not only has deepened the deadlock, but also seemed to bury hope for some actions be undertaken yet by the Centre – Right government of Andrius Kubilius in accordance with the polish minority expectations.

Moreover from yesterday’s statement submitted by the Polish Ministry of National Education in response to Lithuanian Minister we may conclude that Steponavičius not only has rejected demands of polish schools in Lithuania, but also allow an adjustment with a view to justifying behaviours of his government.

At Tuesday minister Steponavičius accused  the Polish Minister of National Education  of rejection of the invitation from Lithuanian colleague fellows for renewing work of the bilateral committee for national minorities education. Steponavičius has also claimed polish minority allegedly wants an European society to participate in solving polish minority in Lithuania solving problem process. Precisely, to involve in the process OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities – Mr. Kurt Vollebaek.

The Lithuanian Minister has mentioned also  this point of view of the polish side seems to some kind of pressure put under Lithuania.

“We can see that polish side still keep pressure on the Lithuanian authorities under that case, through engaging international organizations – stated Minister Steponavičius. He has also fingered to polish side that “they refuse to admit identical  standards in regard in  national minorities education system has been already in effort since few years”.

Therefore I think that Lithuania should not participate in these efforts attempting to make some unilateral benefits. All the more the adoption of the Act of Educational Law is consequently implemented equally all over Lithuania and is being under monitoring”- said Steponavičius. He has also mentioned problems of educational system  that are faced by the national minorities could be solved without international supervision, and precisely, without engaging  the OSCE Commissioner.

At the same time  polish side rejects the Lithuanian Minister of Education and Science demands and notices these issues could not have been solved by the special expert’s group established for that purpose by both Lithuanian and Polish Prime Ministers

“We are surprised by the current position of the Lithuanian Ministry of Education and Science. After completing unsuccessfully  bilateral expert group in previous year, High Commissioner on National Minorities – Knut Vollebaek  has got interested  himself in the issue and engaged his authority in the process of Polish – Lithuanian dialogue about national minorities educational system. The Commissioner Knut Vollebaek has made last  autumn and I the beginning of this year   series of meetings with representatives of Polish national minorities in Lithuania and with Lithuanian minority in Poland, and with heads of ministries from both Lithuania and Poland and commissioned to external experts from the OSCE preparation of a report in regard in situation of the Polish minority and Lithuanian minority in Poland. In the second half of April the Commissioner has submitted an invitation to both ministers of education to joint meeting in the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights(ODIHR) in the end of April the following year at Warsaw, with a view to discussing the arguable issues. So we are waiting now for the Lithuanian position.”  – we have read in yesterday’s statement made by the Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of National Education, Mr. Mirosław Sielatycki. He has also emphasized that the Department  is still open for launching talks with the Lithuanian Ministry, but he had also recognized that previous cooperation have not been successful.

“Works of the Group was completed at November 2011, unfortunately, the agreement in the key issue has not been achieved – in case of change of the regulations adopted in the Lithuanian Act of Educational Law., which has dramatically worsened  conditions of polish schools in Lithuania and situation of polish students from these schools as well – has pointed  in his statement Mr. Mirosław Sielatycki.

Because of lack of the satisfying results of the Expert Group for Education in last year’s autumn Polish side do not recognizes any legitimacy of carrying the dialogue in a previous form on, suggested by the minister Steponavičius.

“However, we do agree for carrying talk in form suggested by the High Commissioner on – for his invitation and with his personal presence as the administrator and moderator of the talks – stated Mr. Sielatycki. He has also expressed his highest hope for Lithuanian acceptance of this offer and that agreement is possible to achieve at last as well.


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

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