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15th Apr 2024

Translation errors in Polish EU Constitution to delay ratification

Translation mistakes in the Polish version of the EU Constitution could delay the whole ratification process well as indirectly influencing its outcome.

The Polish Foreign Ministry told journalists that it has identified over 40 mistakes which are expected to take a further three to four months to correct.

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  • Translation mistakes could delay the whole ratification of the EU Constitution in Poland (Photo: EUobserver)

Opposition politicians have said the translation contains "flagrant errors" making it impossible to implement the treaty.

"These are not just simple linguistic mistakes, but passages containing (legal) dispositions that differ from other linguistic versions", PAP news agency quoted Kazimierz Ujazdowski of the centre-right Law and Justice party as saying.

The government will apparently fail to submit the translated document to the parliamentarians in early February as planned, and so the date for a national vote on the Constitution is likely to be postponed too.

Polish politicians have been arguing about when to hold a referendum for months, as it needs over a 50 percent turnout to be valid.

While the ruling left-wing parties would like to see the poll this autumn along with the presidential elections which usually spark great emotions, the right-wing opposition has called for more time for citizens to learn about the document and vote on it later in 2006.

However, if the European referendum fails to attract enough Poles to take part in it, both houses of the Polish parliament must separately approve the Constitution by a two-thirds majority.

And that, some commentators are suggesting, might prove difficult should more eurosceptic parties dominate the new parliament after the general elections later this year.

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