Declaration of Boulogne

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Declaration of Boulogne
Zamenhof and other attendees leaving the first World Esperanto Congress
Created 1905
Ratified August 1905
Location Boulogne-sur-Mer, France
Author(s) L. L. Zamenhof
Purpose Esperanto

The Declaration on the Essence of Esperantism (Esperanto: Deklaracio pri la esenco de Esperantismo), commonly referred to as the Declaration of Boulogne (Bulonja Deklaracio), is a historic document that establishes several important premises for the Esperanto movement.[1] The Declaration was written by L. L. Zamenhof and ratified in 1905 by the attendees of the first World Esperanto Congress, held in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France.[2]


The Zamenhof and Michaux families at the first World Esperanto Congress

The Declaration of Boulogne consists of an introduction and five points.

In the introduction, Zamenhof clarifies that the five points of the Declaration are necessary to establish because many people misunderstand the nature of the Esperanto movement. The five points are largely in response to these widely held misconceptions.

  1. Esperantism is a movement that supports Esperanto as the international auxiliary language (IAL). No further meaning can be attached to it. It is politically, religiously, and morally neutral, and it does not seek to replace any existing languages, only to supplement them.
  2. Those who support Esperanto do so because it is the most realistic IAL that exists, and they work to further it based on this goal.
  3. Esperanto belongs to no one. Anyone can use it for any reason they like.
  4. The Fundamento de Esperanto is the single, perpetual obligatory authority over Esperanto, and it cannot be modified. Otherwise, Esperanto depends on no legal authority, neither a governing body nor an individual, including Zamenhof himself. If a linguistic matter is not covered in the Fundamento, it is up to the individual on how to handle the matter.
  5. An Esperantist is a fluent Esperanto speaker. Involvement in the Esperanto community is encouraged but not required.[3]


  1. ^ Schor, p. 90
  2. ^ Schor, p. 90
  3. ^ "Boulogne Declaration". Archived from the original on May 6, 2014. Retrieved November 16, 2017. 

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