Serbske ludowe zastupnistwo
Sorbische/wendische Volksvertretung
Sorbian/Wendish People’s Representation

Bundestag behaviour on the Language Charter is unacceptable

Hajko Kozel, spokesperson for the committee  on Constitutional and Legal Affairs of the Sorbian/Wendish parliament Serbski Sejm, comments on debate in the Bundestag on „25 years of the EU Charter for Regional or Minority Languages“:

„What is good about the debate is the visibility of the protected regional and minority languages. However, in the past decade, the debate has degenerated more and more into empty phrases, even understood by some as clamour and combined with the tendency to hide essential deficits. I want to criticise this in the clearest possible terms.

The Federal Republic of Germany praises itself for comprehensively respecting the minimum standards of the Language Charter. Yet the state education system in Lusatia is failing on a broad front: the provision of Sorbian/Wendish-speaking teachers is not guaranteed and also has a lower priority. In case of doubt, they have to ensure German physical education first. In addition, children are repeatedly denied their legally guaranteed right to Sorbian/English-language instruction.

And to keep trouble at bay, the German state fittingly bars the Sorbian/Wendish people from any right of action.

But the worst hypocrisy on the occasion of today is that the Federal Republic continues to deny the indigeneity of the Sorbian/Wendish people in order to deny them the truly substantial rights of self-determination and co-determination to which they are entitled under ILO 169, which was ratified by the Bundestag almost two years ago.

We will not tolerate this any longer, but are preparing the necessary legal and political steps so that useless rights on paper finally become real rights.“

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