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A step forward in the de-communisation process

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Poland, Warsaw – Poland must change the names of the public spaces within a year, which bind to, or are related to the communist era – the bill has been voted on Friday, April 1, and unanimously adopted by the Polish parliament’s lower house.

The mayors will not be able to name the newly constructed streets, bridges and squares after persons, organizations, events, names or dates referring the communist era’s totalitarian regime. Although, the law does not apply for monuments and plaques.

Regarding the existing public places, the authorities will have to submitted them to the Polish Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), and adjust them within twelve months after the coming into force of the new regulation.

Due to the changed names of streets and squares, however, identification documents will need not be replaced, according to the law.

The law is still waiting to be approved by the Senate and the Polish head of state. The upper house vote is not an expected obstacle, as the bill had been worked out there. It enters into force three months after the approval of the legislation.

According to the rapporteurs of the law, about 1.200-1.400 places in Poland are concerned. This estimation is based on a survey of local governments. But this number might be doubled, as not all municipalities have given an exhaustive answer to the survey.