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New premises for the Slovenian Consulate-General in Trieste

Slovenian Foreign Minister Dr Miro Cerar and the President of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia Regional Government, Massimiliano Fedriga, opened the new premises of the Consulate-General of the Republic of Slovenia in Trieste. Just before the evening reception marking Republic Day in Italy, the Minister held separate meetings with the Slovenian minority and FVG President Fedriga.

At the opening ceremony, Minister Dr Cerar emphasised the importance of the new premises as a place where the members of the Slovenian minority can meet and connect, and added:

“Both minorities – the Slovenian national community in Italy and the Italian national community in Slovenia – not only link the two countries, but also bring precious enrichment to the area they live in, and contribute to the overall development of this region. Thus, the joint opening of the consulate-general has a symbolic meaning.” In his address, the Minister also said: “The promotion and support of our national communities is the joint responsibility of both Slovenia and Italy and also of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia Autonomous Region. The Slovenian side appreciates regular and constructive dialogue with the Italian and Friuli-Venezia Giulia sides on the outstanding issues and challenges facing the Slovenian national community in Italy. Regular meetings are important for maintaining trust between statespersons and citizens, even more so in times when politics is reviving dark chapters from the past in order to affect the relations between the two countries and the position of the Slovenian minority.”

Before the opening, Minister Dr Cerar and the FVG AR President Fedriga discussed the importance of cooperation with FVG in order to strengthen the minority’s position. He expressed the expectation that the regional government and its President will continue to closely follow the specific position of the Slovenian national minority.

“We are pleased that the President of Friuli-Venezia Giulia will continue to strive for a solution that will enable the election of a Slovenian minority representative to the Senate of the Republic and the Chamber of Deputies, as stipulated in the Act Protecting the Slovenian Minority in Italy,” added the Minister.

He first met with the FVG President Fedriga in January this year. At this meeting, they both advocated that the Joint Slovenia-Friuli Venezia Giulia Committee should meet this autumn. They also touched upon the fruitful regional cooperation between Friuli Venezia Giulia and Slovenia in the fields of economy, culture, science and tourism. In Italy, Friuli Venezia Giulia is one of Slovenia’s most important trading partners. Slovenia and Friuli Venezia Giulia are also closely connected by tourism and joint tourist projects, such as the Alpe-Adria Trail, cycling (Parenzana) and hiking (Isonzo – Soča) routes, etc.

The Minister expressed expectations that the Italian side will deliver its commitment to restore National Hall in Trieste to the Slovenian community and emphasised the important role of Friuli Venezia Giulia in this process. On a symbolic level, this restoration would reaffirm our alliance and commitment to common European values at the event marking the centenary of the arson attack on the National Hall (13 July 2020).

The Minister also touched the agreement on joint police patrols in the border area. “Slovenia joins a few other countries neighbouring Italy in this type of border surveillance. Such cooperation fosters trust between the police units and both countries, but above all it sends a strong message to the public that we are fighting illegal migration in a manner that will not hamper the fullness of life and cooperation of the people living along the border.”

Just before the reception marking the Republic Day in Italy, Minister Dr Cerar met with the representatives of the Slovenian national minority in Italy, Regional Councillors Igor Gabrovec and Danilo Slokar, the Chairperson of the Slovenian Cultural and Economic Association Ksenija Dobrila, and the President of the Council of Slovenian Organisations Walter Bandelj. They discussed current issues and institutional impediments regarding Slovenian minority activities. Tomorrow, Minister Dr Cerar will participate in the ministerial meeting of the Central European Initiative, during which he is to meet the Italian foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi for bilateral talks.