- April 14, 2014
Kubilius: Rushing to adopt a law on spelling of surnames may have a negative impact on the Polish-Lithuanian relations
An opposition leader, a conservative Andrius Kubilius believes that a draft law of the social democrats Gediminas Kirkilas and Irena Šiaulienė cannot be presented to the Seimas without an opinion of the State Commission of the Lithuanian Language (SCLL) on the original spelling of surnames in documents.
“I don’t know how the Law Department will deal with it, but the Constitutional Court explained the SCLL was solely responsible for that. The deputies’ initiative has not been justified by the SCLL and that is why it arouses a lot of unnecessary tension and uncertainty” – A. Kubilius stated on Monday during the press conference in the Seimas.
According to the conservative, the draft drawn up by Gediminas Kirkilas and Irena Šiaulienė may now prove non-compliant with the Constitution although it does not differ from the draft presented to the Seimas by A. Kubilius himself a few years ago.
“The draft has been already put on the agenda of the tomorrow’s Seimas sitting. Nevertheless, G. Kirkilas and I. Šiaulienė did it really hasty paying no regard for a new Constitutional Court’s judgment and having no opinion of the SCLL. By doing so the deputies hatched some kind of a plot” – A. Kubilius said.
The incumbent social democrats put forward a proposal of amendments to the Civil Code which would make it possible to spell the surnames in original form in identity documents. The first name and the surname in original form would be supposed to appear on the first page of the document.
A. Kubilius stated he did not know how he will vote on this issue. Everything depends on the SCLL.
I would like to note that the draft was presented not by the government, but by two social democrats who do not have the consent of their coalition partners. Therefore we can conclude that the meeting of the Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius and Donald Tusk in Brussels was the reason for the rush. After registering such a draft we can inform the Polish PM that we are trying to take some actions” – the conservatives’ leader stated and added the rush might have a damaging impact on the Polish-Lithuanian relations.
It is worth noting that in 2010 A. Kubilius, the PM of the time, pointed out that the first name and the surname were a person’s personal property and not the part of the official language. He emphasized that the original spelling of surname was a generally accepted European tendency and that Lithuanians in Poland had such a right.
Tłumaczenie by Martyna Kołtun w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Martyna Kołtun within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.