Holyrood celebrates Polish Constitution Day

Jean has tabled the Scottish Parliament’s first ever motion celebrating Polish Constitution Day. Already, 17 fellow MSPs from around the country have signed up to support the message of friendship between Scotland and Poland.

Polish Constitution Day is tomorrow, May 3rd, and commemorates the adoption of the Polish constitution of the 3rd of May 1791, seen by historians as the first modern, codified constitution in Europe and the second in the world.

Jean’s motion looks forward to and independent Scotland learning from Poland’s example and adopting a written constitution as innovative today as Poland’s was, 222 years ago.

Jean said:

“There is a long history of friendship between Scotland and Poland, from the Scots who migrated to Poland in the 17th Century, to the Polish sailors, soldiers and airmen that defended Scotland in WWII. Today the Polish community plays a huge part in our country’s economic and cultural success, particularly in the Highlands.

“As we consider our own constitutional future, we have so much to learn from Poland’s example. The 1791 Constitution that we celebrate on 3 May was one of the first to recognise the people as sovereign, and we can take heart from Poland’s centuries-long but successful struggle for independence, first from occupation and latterly from Soviet domination.

“It’s an honour to be the first MSP to formally recognise this day of joy for the Polish community, and the great contribution these new Scots make all year round.”

The motion is titled “Recognition of Poland’s 3 May Constitution Day,” and reads:

“That the Parliament notes that Poland’s Constitution Day celebrations are held on 3 May; notes that Constitution Day was the first holiday introduced following Poland’s restoration as an independent country in 1919; recognises the cultural importance of Poland’s Constitution Day to the Polish communities of Scotland; understands that Polish communities globally commemorate the holiday in a variety of ways, including parades and town prayers; notes what it sees as the historical significance of the signing of the country’s constitution on 3 May 1791, considered by historians to be the first of its kind in Europe; welcomes what it considers the continuing bonds of friendship between Poland and Scotland, and looks forward to what it hopes will be Scotland celebrating its own constitution day after the proposed adoption of a written constitution in an independent country.”