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First official meeting of Minister Matej Arčon with the Slovenian minority in Italy

Minister for Slovenians Abroad Matej Arčon today paid his first official visit to the autochthonous Slovenian national community in Italy. The minister was accompanied by the state secretary at the Government Office for Slovenians Abroad, Vesna Humar, and the consul at the Consulate General of the Republic of Slovenia in Trieste, Peter Golob.

Marko Jarc, Vesna Humar, Ksenija Dobrila, Matej Arčon, Walter Bandelj, Peter Golob, Danilo Slokar, Rudi Pavšič stojijo.

Marko Jarc, Vesna Humar, Ksenija Dobrila, Matej Arčon, Walter Bandelj, Peter Golob, Danilo Slokar, Rudi Pavšič. | Author Nebojša Tejić/STA

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In his statement to the press at the end of the working meeting, Minister Arčon expressed his satisfaction that the meeting was held at the commerce centre in Gorizia, "right here, at the cultural centre of the Slovenian community in Gorizia". He outlined the content-rich meeting held with the minority representation and highlighted the main message of the meeting: to very clearly define the objectives to be met through operational work. He expressed the desire that the roadmap to their achievement should be charted by the autumn. The discussion focused on the aspirations for joint representation, education, the Slovenian language and a visible presence of Slovenians in the area. A strong and stable economy is also extremely important for the successful functioning of the minority. The participants agreed that special attention should be paid to Veneto and Resia, where they face many challenges. The discussion also touched upon the role of the Slovenian community in the European Capital of Culture Nova Gorica/Gorizia 2025 project. This is an important opportunity that should not be missed. The minister announced that as part of the activities he would strive to organise the largest ever gathering of Slovenians from the neighbouring countries, around the world and the homeland to date.

The meeting was attended by Ksenija Dobrila, President of the Slovenian Cultural and Economic Union, Walter Bandelj, President of the Council of Slovenian Organisations, regional councillor Danilo Slokar, Marko Jarc, Chairman of the Joint Committee for Slovenian Minority Issues, and Rudi Pavšič, who attended the meeting on behalf of Senator Tatjana Rojc, who was unable to attend due to other commitments. The presidents of the two umbrella organisations welcomed the minister’s visit and expressed their satisfaction that the first meeting had already set clear guidelines for the future cooperation of the two organisations, and indeed of all Slovenian organisations in Italy.

The meeting was followed by a pleasant informal get-together of the minister and representatives of Slovenian federations and institutions, associations and Slovenian mayors in Italy.