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Alternative title:

Neighborhoods treaties and protection of Poles living abroad

Subject and Keywords:

Polish minority in neighbouring countries   neighbourhood treaties concluded by Poland with neighbouring countries   assimilation of the Polish minority   implementation of obligations arising from the Neighbourhood Treaties towards the Polish minority


Tyt. zeszytu: Orient daleki i bliski = Orient far and near


In the 1990s, Poland concluded bilateral agreements with all neighboring countries. They included, among others, regulations concerning the protection of the rights of Poles living outside the country. Unfortunately, contrary to expectations, the agreements did not lead to an improvement in the situation of the Polish minority. The Neighborhood Treaty with Germany, in which the rights of Poles were most widely regulated (art. 20–32), did not grant the Polish group the status of a minority. In the neighboring country, they were considered to be an immigrant community, i. e. the socalled “foreigners”. As a result, Germany refuses to establish Polish schools, finance the Polish media, exempt Poles from the electoral thresholds and introduce Polish designations in the towns they live in, although these rights are enjoyed by Germans living in Poland. In Belarus, the religious rights of Poles are being violated in violation of the Treaty. The Catholic Church is accused of conducting Polonization activity, it is deprived of temples, and the liturgy of the feast cannot be conducted in Polish. Poles find it difficult to exercise their right of association, as Polish organizations are accused of separatist activity and striving to overthrow the Belarusian authorities. In Lithuania, contrary to the Treaty, the rights of Poles to run their own schools, to use their name and surname, to use their own language in public life, to use bilingual signs are violated. Persons of Polish descent are deprived of the land to which Lithuanians are resettled. In Ukraine, the religious rights of Poles are being violated. The Ukrainian language is introduced into the liturgy of the church. Polish cemeter-ies are being destroyed. Many Poles are registered in passports and identity cards as Ukrainians, which accelerates their assimilation. The Polish minority in Russia is considered hostages of the Russian state, which violates their rights under the Treaty at a time when relations between countries are bad. Due to the dominant position of the Orthodox Church, the Catholic Church is exposed to repressions in the form of expulsion of Polish priests from the country. There are no subsidies for the activities of Polish schools and associations. The Agreement between Poland and the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic is also not implemented in accordance with the provisions. Bilingual Polish boards in towns in Cieszyn Silesia, inhabited by Poles, are painted up. Completion of Polish schools hinders education at Czech universities. In Slovakia it is forbidden to use Polish in public places. Polish associations are not subsidized, and the names of Poles are subject to Slavicization

Place of publishing:



Wydział Prawa, Administracji i Ekonomii Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego

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Date copyrighted:



ISSN 2080-332X   ISBN 978-83-65158-16-1






Wrocławskie Studia Erazmiańskie. 2019, 13, s. 175-199

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Copyright by Pracownia Badań Praw Orientalnych, Katedra Doktryn Politycznych i Prawnych Wydziału Prawa, Administracji i Ekonomii Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego & Authors

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