Russian propaganda presented a single social media activist’s post about the Ukrainian language as a popular belief shared by all Ukrainians in Poland. In reality, Ukrainian refugees are not asking for Ukrainian to become an official language in Poland. The Polish Constitution clearly states that the only official language of the country is Polish, which is spoken by a majority of people. If minorities constitute at least 20% of the total number of inhabitants of a given municipality and their language is registered in the official municipal register, they have the right to use their own language as a secondary language. Today, the Ukrainian language does not have such a status in any of the municipalities.
Kremlin media are spreading another lie about Ukrainian-Polish relations, suggesting that Ukrainians would now like to see Ukrainian as a second official language in Poland.
“While the Poles dreamed of reuniting with western Ukraine, they seem to have missed a new danger,” warns Komsomolskaya Pravda.
“Refugees from Ukraine have angered locals by demanding that their language be recognized as official in Poland,” the news site NewInform said.
What Russian propaganda presents as the position and demand of all Ukrainian refugees is in fact just one post by Ukrainian activist Ihor Isayev, reacting to an article in the Polish newspaper Wyborcza.
An article titled Almost one in three Wroclaw residents is Ukrainian. And this number is increasing was published on the Wyborcza website. He discussed a study by the Union of Polish Metropolises, which showed that Wroclaw is the second Polish city after Warsaw with the largest Ukrainian population. Analyst data also showed that the number of Ukrainians in Poland is growing and they most often choose to live in big cities. The experts quoted in the article stressed that “the change in the dynamics of the Ukrainian population essentially corresponds to our expectations”.
In response to the article, Ihor Isayev wrote on his Facebook page that “the law on national minorities allows the introduction of a supporting language (as well as bilingual road signs) if said minority constitutes at least 20 % Population. . We do not yet know how this law can be interpreted in relation to migrants. Nevertheless, in major Polish cities we can already advocate for Ukrainian to become the second state language.
There is no mention of applications from other Ukrainian refugees. Moreover, such a step is legally impossible. Polish is the only official language of the Republic of Poland. This is established in Article 27 of the Polish Constitution.
“Polish is the official language of the Republic of Poland. This provision shall not prejudice the rights of national minorities resulting from ratified international agreements”, – says the Constitution.
Poland also has a law on national and ethnic minorities and on regional languages. According to this document, Ukrainians are considered a national minority. They have the right to use their own language both in private and public life, to share and exchange information in Ukrainian, to publish information, to study and learn in their language, etc.
In addition, Article 9 of this law stipulates that the minority language may be used by the authorities as a support language in the following cases:
“A supporting language can only be used in municipalities where the number of minority residents, whose language is to be used as supporting language, is not less than 20% of the total number of inhabitants of the municipality and has been registered in the official register. Register of municipalities, where a supporting language is used. »
In this case, it is possible to contact municipal officials in a supporting language both in written and oral form, to receive answers in this language, etc. Thus, the right to preserve and develop the cultural identity of various national minorities is regulated in Poland, but the official language remains Polish. It should be noted that the Ukrainian language currently does not have the status of a supporting language in Poland.
StopFake has repeatedly debunked fake Russian propagandists and misinformation stories about Ukrainian-Polish relations. More on this topic here: Manipulation: Ukraine gives Poland the right to distribute Ukrainian passports, Fake: Ukraine asks Poland to deport all men to join the army, Distortion: Poland appropriates the Ukrainian cities Lviv, Lutsk, Rivne.