thank you for your time and the opinion on the article. I really appreciate your interest in it and your standpoint on the discussed topic. I would like to reply to some provisions you pointed out.
- The first concerns the existence of separate definitions of “polish” and “lithuanian” in XVI-XVII centuries – despite the fact that the two countries formed a Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, they still retained considerable individuality. Not only separate treasury, army, law and authorities that they had, what is remarkable to notice – people used also separate languages.
- The second regards the article of the Framework Convention. You are right, the article 5 is very important and it should be implemented by the government, especially in cases when the cultural and religious aspects are taken into consideration. But in my opinion the article 11 (p. 1,2,3) is more suitable in the particular case when we speak about "the right to use surnames and first names in the minority language and the right to official recognition of them". I wanted to emphasize the importance of the legal regulation which entitles the members of the national minorities to require the implementation of the provisions. The article 5, however, reflects my statement about the necessity for the government to support the principals and show the respect for the international treaties, including the following aspects: "culture, essential elements of the identity of the members of the national minorities, their religion, language, traditions and cultural heritage".
- And the third: the Runevič-Vardyn (or Runiewicz-Wardyn)case. I agree there is the difference between saying that "ECJ stated the forenames and the surnames cannot be changed and should be recorded only in lithuanian characters" and the literal statement of ECJ. This follows from the "ruling" nature of the statement of the mentioned Court. On the other hand, the ECJ stated as follows: (http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?docid=82046&mode=lst&... )
"not precluding the competent authorities of a Member State from refusing, pursuant to national rules which provide that a person’s surnames and forenames may be entered on the certificates of civil status of that State only in a form which complies with the rules governing the spelling of the official national language, to amend, on the birth certificate and marriage certificate of one of its nationals, the surname and forename of that person in accordance with the spelling rules of another Member State".
I interpret this as a potential capability for the national authorities to apply the chosen form of name and surname of the claimant.
Moreover, in the preliminary ruling ECJ expressed its opinion: (par. 87) "the objective pursued by national rules such as those at issue in the main proceedings, designed to protect the official national language by imposing the rules which govern the spelling of that language, constitutes, in principle, a legitimate objective capable of justifying restrictions on the rights of freedom of movement and residence provided for in Article 21 TFEU and may be taken into account when legitimate interests are weighed against the rights conferred by European Union law"
and: (par. 71) "Article 21 TFEU does not preclude the competent authorities of a Member State from refusing, pursuant to national rules which provide that a person’s surnames and forenames may be entered on the certificates of civil status of that State only in a form which complies with the rules governing the spelling of the official national language, to amend the surname which one of its nationals had prior to marriage and the forename of that person, where those names were registered at birth in accordance with those rules"
And finally, ECJ at the beginning of its opinion confirms: (par. 58) "The applicant bases her request on, inter alia, Article 21 TFEU, pointing to the inconvenience caused by the fact that, when exercising the rights conferred by those provisions, she is obliged to use civil status documents on which her surname and forename do not appear in their Polish form and for that reason do not reflect the nature of her relationship with the second applicant in the main proceedings or even with her son".
What, in my opinion, only emphasizes the fact that the Court understands that the refusal of the public authorities of Lithuania to change the transcription of the forename and the surname of the applicant may cause inconvenience for her. This confirms paragraph 74 of the preliminary ruling.
The thing is to determine if the everyday complications concerning the evident difference between the two forms of the surnames can or cannot be considered as the serious inconvenience? The name and the surname “as a means of personal identification and a link to a family” especially for one, who lives outside the country – the party of the dispute, where neither languages are in use…