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Prime Minister Janez Janša: The Government will strive to form and maintain strong relations between the home country and Slovenians abroad

Prime Minister Janez Janša today presided over the session of the Government Council for Slovenians Abroad. The Council is a consultative body of the Government, and participates in the formation and implementation of policies and strategies of the Republic of Slovenia for Slovenians abroad. The session participants thanked the Prime Minister for the meeting and for the expressed concern and interest of the Government for Slovenians abroad.

Prime Minister Janez Janša stressed the importance of interconnectivity and cooperation, and assured that the Government will strive to establish a general framework to integrate Slovenians abroad. He stated that all opportunities presented by modern technology need to be taken, which we may all utilise in our communication during the COVID-19 epidemic. Virtual meetings will never replace direct communication between people, but they are an excellent accessory for interconnecting with one another. He took note of the warning of the participants that the structure of Slovenia’s diaspora has changed in the last few years, and that Slovenia needs to adjust to that. An increasing number of young and highly educated Slovenians are emigrating.

The Prime Minister ensured the participants that the Government will strive to eliminate the bureaucratic obstacles in areas that are bothering Slovenians around the world, such as obtaining citizenship and returning to their home country. At the forthcoming 30th anniversary of independence of Slovenia, he thanked the Slovenians around the world for their contribution to Slovenia’s independence process, and for their aid in other countries’ recognition of Slovenia. “You, fellow countrymen abroad, you were our diplomacy who helped change the opinion of the international public on the events in Slovenia at the key moment of independence, thus recognising it as an independent state.” He concluded by saying that the Government will continue to form and maintain strong bonds between the home country and Slovenians around the world through the Government Office for Slovenians Abroad, and via activities of the various ministries and government offices.

In addition to the vice president of the Council and the minister for Slovenians abroad, Dr Helena Jaklitsch, the session was also attended by Slovenian communities from abroad, the representatives of Slovenian organisations which help preserve “Slovenism” around the world, as well as the ministers of the Slovenian Government or state secretaries who are dealing with the issue of Slovenians around the world.