Political Institutionalization of ethnic Minorities in Poland after 1989
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The article compares laws on ethnic minorities recently introduced in Poland with those existing in other countries in Europe and with international regulations in that field. The authoress discusses the questions how much the Polish regulations reflect the spirit of the time and of the region and to what extend they are related to the other elements of the Polish political system as well as to the historical and cultural environment. In July 2000 Poland ratified the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. It should be also mentioned that provisions concerning rights of minorities in the sphere of education, the state radio and television programs as well as in the electoral law are included in bilateral treaties concluded with all Poland's neighbors. Although such a state of affairs is provisional one, in the authoress' opinion it is the first step in right direction. Regretfully, even a personal engagement and support of Jacek Kuron, legendary co-founder of 'Solidarity' Trade Union and for many years the chairman of the Parliamentary Commission for National and Ethnic Minorities, could not convince the Polish Parliament to pass the general law regulating institutional rights of minorities in Poland, what illustrates how difficult that problem remains for the Polish authorities. Now, when Kuron has left the political scene, and the government battles with the budget deficit, the new legislation in that field does not seem to be the governmental priority.
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