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Warsaw announces a nationwide appeal

In Poland, a new law on the repatriation of overseas compatriots. This is another attempt to "gather in one place," even if not all Poles of the world, but those who are still living in the former Soviet Union. There is reason to believe that this appeal will be heard and will be successful. But if Moscow should follow the example of Warsaw?

Under the new law, an immigrant is a person arriving historic home with the intention of permanent residence. Returnees will provide nutrition and hygiene, as well as pocket money - 200 zlotys (ie, about 50 euros) per month until they find a job. Fundamentally help with housing - new arrivals receive from the state financial aid for rent, purchase or repair thereof. And if the first immigrants, received a gift of a house or apartment, you had to pay the tax, now they are released from this obligation.

It is expected that 10-15 thousand people will move to Poland within ten years. The figure is small, but you need to understand that this is just a "cherry on the cake". The "cake" itself is the set of measures that Warsaw has been taking for many years, while encouraging the relocation of ethnic Poles to the country and supporting the Polish diasporas in the neighboring countries. He most fully expressed himself in the document, which was called the "Pole's Card". Actually, thanks largely to him, Polish officials are now very easy to distinguish between a repatriate returning to "his own", from a simple migrant - a competitor of Polish citizenship.

It is unlikely that in the countries of the former USSR there will be those carriers of Polish blood, who at least in theory do not know how to get a "Pole's card" and for what it is needed. For the rest it is worth explaining: on the territory of Poland, the holder of such a card has many rights, usually distributed only to citizens. For example, you can engage in entrepreneurial activities or get a job without special permission. You can use free medical care and, in part, education. There are also various "pleasant trifles": having such a card on hand, you can visit state museums without paying for a ticket, and buy railway tickets with 37% discount.

Even those in whom Polish blood is relatively few, get a coveted card is not so difficult. It is necessary to be a citizen of any of the republics of the former USSR, to know Polish at least at a basic level and to consider it a native language, and also to prove that at least one of the direct ancestors, including great-grandmothers or great-grandfathers, was Polish or had Polish citizenship. In extreme cases, you can provide a certificate from any Polish official organization, confirming active participation in activities that have benefited Polish language and culture over the past three years. If these conditions are met, the "Pole's card" can be obtained from the consul nearest to the place of residence, after having submitted a written application and some documents.

The card is valid for ten years from the date of issuance. It shall be terminated if the holder finally settled on the territory of Poland and get Polish citizenship. The card can be obtained for the child, if there is at least one of the parents.

At one of the events involving the correspondent of the newspaper LOOK Polish Ambassador to Latvia Jerzy Marek Nowakowski said: "The policy of our state concerning diaspora in other countries, is expressed in supporting the development and preservation of culture, language, ties with their historical homeland."

"Honestly, it would be a sin to complain about the Polish state. Support for overseas compatriots proclaimed in Poland, one of the priorities - and it's not just words, but also a real financial aid. We provide regular assistance on various issues - and therefore we are able to frequently carry out a variety of cultural events, to support our education, to produce their magazines and TV programs ", - he confirmed the head of Daugavpilssky Polish society" Promen "Rishard Stankevich.

In a word, many Russians scattered over the former lands of the USSR could have envied the Poles. And they really envy. In the Russian-speaking community of Latgale, where Russians are only slightly inferior to Latvians (excluding Latgals from among Latvians, they excel Latvians), and a large Polish community lives, in the summer of 2009 there was a commotion. The Russkiy Foundation announced the beginning of the distribution of the "Russian card", and people were ready to stand up for it in any queue, the topic was actively discussed in blogs and on the streets. At first, few people noticed that the card that the fund intended to distribute was purely symbolic. Too eloquent and known was the example of Poland, which turned the "card of the Pole" into an effective tool for supporting the diasporas.

In a conversation with a correspondent of the newspaper VZGLYAD, the co-chairman of the Russian Union of Latvia party, Miroslav Mitrofanov, said that the issue of the "Russian map" in the republic was being resuscitated for quite some time - and is also regularly calmed down. "For the Russian authorities it is extremely difficult to determine the boundaries of the concept of" compatriot ", which is supposed to use this card. If you make the widest possible definition, the cards are riddled with, among other things, people who are not interested in helping Russia. For example, our ardent "natsiki" if desired, too, could have fallen into the category of compatriots. Or some indifferent cynics who do not care about Russia and who want only to expand their range of possibilities. If, on the contrary, they make very harsh conditions for granting the status of a compatriot, someone is certainly involuntarily discriminated against, they will alienate her sincere friends from the Russian Federation. So this question goes around in circles, "he said. At the same time, Mitrofanov is sure that someday Russia will necessarily take up the solution of this problem.

For its part, the Baltic countries to the introduction of "Russian card"unlikely to give sympathetic consideration. "Card of the Pole" is also glad not everywhere, but in the framework of its policy of supporting Polish diasporas Warsaw is not afraid to go to conflict.

So, six years ago the Belarusian Constitutional Court considered a number of regulations of the Polish law "On Pole's Card", "contrary to international law." A year later, the Belarusian parliamentbannedhis deputies to use the "Polish Card".

Negatively to this policy applies to Lithuania, in which Poland old controversy over the official Vilnius cultural pressure on the local Polish community. The head of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs Audronius Ažubalis stated explicitly that the very existence of "Polish card" threaten friendly relations between Poland and Lithuania. HimsecondedChairman of the Committee on the Rights and the rule of law Stasis Shedbaras: "The introduction of documents that provide an advantage on a national basis for Lithuanian citizens of the same nationality, is not entirely loyal approach towards the neighboring country." It is also considered a proposal to ban holders "Polish Card" to be elected to Parliament, but decided it was not in 2012-th Diet.

But at the end of last year the Polish Senate passed a new "Law on the Pole's Card". Now the decision on the payment of cash assistance to cardholders applying for a residence permit will be made not by the county governor, but by the territorial leader of a higher rank, voevoda (although the elder will still be responsible for paying out social assistance). Indeed, the process is easier to control at the level of 16 voivodeships, and not 330 county headmen. At the same time, the time limit for granting financial assistance is now limited to nine months, and applications are no longer accepted from persons who already used social assistance as a member of the applicant's family. Nationalism is nationalism, but something needs to be saved.

But far more important amendments to the regulations adopted by the Diet in September and yaevare the same year, "Polish Card" holders simplify the procedure for obtaining Polish citizenship to a minimum. In this case, MPs voted "for" unanimously. "We give the opportunity to quickly obtain Polish citizenship. And in the first, the most difficult months of adaptation the Polish state will support them, so that they feel at home here, "-saidthen head of the parliamentary Commission for Relations with Poles Abroad, an MP from the ruling party "Law and Justice" Michal Dvorchik.

The distinction between citizen and "Pole map" was very thin, and a shuttle service - fast: permission to stay in the country will now give a free year of residence in Poland automatically leads to full citizenship, guaranteed by the evacuation and the provision of effective assistance to third countries in case of emergency. The government even partially paid to such persons of Polish language courses and training.

Poland - is not the only example of a policy of collecting divided nation within a nation-state. But in her case, it is the most complete, consistent, solid and well thought-out, in view of which is comparable to the much more well-known Israeli program and large-scale repatriation, but rather a cautious German. In this sense it is almost ideal for the study in case if Russia ever decides to give up half-measures and to follow a similar path.


A source: LOOK

Author: Ilya Belkin

Tags: Poland, Politics, Europe, Citizenship

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