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    President Duda Vetoes Bill to Recognize Silesian Dialect as Regional Language

    President Andrzej Duda has vetoed the amendment to the Act on National and Ethnic Minorities and on the Regional Language from April 2024, which proposed granting the Silesian dialect the status of a regional language. The bill has been sent back to the Sejm for further consideration.

    The President’s Office announced the veto, emphasizing the need for rigorous evaluation to determine whether a particular regional language or ethnic minority has emerged, as stipulated by the Act of January 6, 2005, on National and Ethnic Minorities and on the Regional Language. According to the President, such assessments should be conducted by experts in language, culture, and traditions, particularly linguists.

    President Duda, guided by the opinions of linguists, concluded that the criteria for recognizing the Silesian dialect as a regional language had not been met. The President’s Office clarified that the lack of regional language status does not negate the protection of the Silesian dialect under the Polish Language Act of October 7, 1999, which safeguards all Polish dialects and vernaculars.

    The President underscored the importance of maintaining clear and objective criteria for including specific dialects under the provisions of the 2005 Act, especially given the current social and geopolitical situation. He highlighted potential hybrid threats to Poland, related to the ongoing conflict beyond its eastern border, which necessitate a strong focus on preserving national identity, particularly through the protection and nurturing of the Polish language.

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