Minister Logar visits Austrian Carinthia
Minister of Foreign Affairs Anže Logar paid a visit to Austrian Carinthia on Friday, 7 May 2021. As part of the visit, he met with Governor of Carinthia Peter Kaiser and separately with the Mayor and Vice Mayor of Klagenfurt, Christian Scheider and Lojze Dolinar, respectively.
Minister Logar and Governor Kaiser reaffirmed the traditionally positive cooperation between Slovenia and Austrian Carinthia and welcomed numerous opportunities in business, tourism, culture, and other cross-border projects. They advocated support for the planned organisation of the Slovenia–Carinthia Joint Committee, which was cancelled due to the epidemiological situation in the past year. As for the measures aimed at containing the COVID-19 pandemic, the officials endorsed ongoing efforts to find solutions that will facilitate border crossing, e.g. the use of vaccination certificates.
Minister Logar welcomed the positive steps of the Carinthian regional authorities in fostering co-existence between the Slovenian- and German-speaking people living in Carinthia, which was demonstrated upon the centenary of the Carinthian plebiscite last year. He went on to underline the importance of further specific measures to protect the Slovenian national minority, most notably in education, the implementation of visible bilingualism, and the use of the Slovene language.
During the talks with the Mayor and Vice Mayor of Klagenfurt, Minister Logar stressed the significant role of Klagenfurt as the economic and cultural centre of Carinthian Slovenians in light of the recent election of two Carinthian Slovenians to the city council. They exchanged views on the cooperation between Klagenfurt and Slovenian cities, in the Alps-Adriatic region as well as on the economy, culture, and tourism.
Minister Logar was also keen to meet with the representatives of the Slovenian national minority in Austria, this time in Carinthia for the first time. He highlighted the importance of regular contacts with the Slovenian national minority. During the talks, the participants assessed the current situation, especially in light of the 10th anniversary of the Memorandum on bilingual topographical signs in Carinthia and the implementation of the national minorities programme of the current Austrian government.
Minister Logar concluded his visit by meeting with the internationally renowned Carinthian artist, Valentin Oman, who is also known as an active supporter of efforts to promote the Slovenian language in Austrian Carinthia, in his art studio in Finkenstein am Faaker See.