One million euro in 2023 and 2 euro each in 2024 and 2025 – such funds from the federal state of Germany intended for additional support for teaching Polish as the language of the country of origin. They will go to the KoKoPol Polish Language Competence and Coordination Center in St. Marienthal in Saxony, informed Dietmar Nietan, coordinator of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs for cross-border and inter-social cooperation with Poland, after the Friday (22/25/2022) vote of the German Bundestag on the state budget for 2023.
– The federal government and the coalition parties developed it, thus the first step towards supplementary Polish federal funding for the language as the language of the country of origin – supplement.
Dietmar Nietan additionally adds that in Germany science in matters of schooling supports the teaching of the mother tongue and the country of origin belonging to the federal states. However, he added, “due to the superior importance of Polish-German relations”, the German federal government should also increase the federal states in this area.
Dietmar Nietan – coordinator of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs. for cross-border and inter-social cooperation with Poland
On the edge of a knife
The allocation by Germany of institutions – and this coming from central authorities, not the budgets of the federal states – as a means for teaching Polish is one of the flagship imperatives of Polish action addressed to Berlin. In the new year, this answer to the German knife edge was introduced in Warsaw, taking away part of the funds for teaching the language to children from the German minority in Poland.
In October, from DW, the Minister of Education and Science, Przemysław Czarnek, admitted that it was a form of pressure on Berlin. – If we had not made this move and had not reduced German funds for teaching the language (…), would the German side raise this topic at all? It seems that it was necessary for Germany to finally start thinking about how to do its job, he said.
The Minister of Science and Education argued that Poland spent EUR 50 million thanks to the revival of German as the native language. I stated that if Germany started to finance the teaching of Polish as a Polish language of the same kind at the federal level, Poland would return to funding the German language of the German minority.
Far from expected
The amount reserved for the first time in German to support the Polish language is far from Minister Czarnek’s expectations. But Germany hopes that Poland has appreciated this first step.
“Now it is important that the site also advocates for multilingualism, including non-discriminatory support for the language as a German minority language,” Germany’s ambassador to Poland Thomas Bagger wrote on Twitter.
Then, the Saxon Minister of State for Federal Affairs and the Media, Oliver Schenk, recognized the operation in Berlin as “a strong signal for Polish-German relations” for KoKoPol. “Also Saxony will continue to work to strengthen the language of our neighbor, not only by supporting KoKoPol” – stated.
Sentences for KoKoPol
Center for Competence and Coordination of the Polish Language KoKoPol service on July 1, 2020. Its goal is to popularize the Polish language in Germany, as well as to work for understanding between Poland and Germany. It is co-financed by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as from tax funds on the basis of the Saxon parliament.
According to Dietmar Nietan, an additional EUR 5 million, planned for 2023-2025, are to be allocated, among others, to development of a “national strategy” regarding the need for teaching the language of the country of origin at school, as well as a collection of “best practices” in the field of teaching Polish in federal states. KoKoPol is also to work with the federal states and civil society organizations – including the Polish diaspora – a strategy for the development of teaching Polish, as well as participation in offers for schools and non-school entities.