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Ajanović Hovnik: “We have undertaken to have zero tolerance to hate speech and discrimination”

This year’s national conference of non-governmental organisations, organised by the Centre for Information Service, Co-operation and Development of NGOs (CNVOS), is aimed at addressing online, media and physical assaults on non-governmental organisations at home and abroad. Speakers shall discuss how to protect against such assaults, how and when to efficiently respond to them, and how to communicate them. The participants were greeted by the Minister of Public Administration, Sanja Ajanovič Hovnik.

The Minister addresses the participants in the Chamber.

Minister Ajanovič Hovnik at the National Conference of NGOs | Author Ministrstvo za javno upravo

The Minister said that non-governmental organisations have an important service role to play, as well as an irreplaceable role of an advocate. “You are the voice of the vulnerable and the weak,” she noted. In her speech, she presented some plans of the current government in this area. She reminded everyone that the coalition partners undertook to have zero tolerance towards hate speech and discrimination, and she has already confirmed the change of the Criminal Code which will reflect this commitment.

“We will also fight discrimination and hate speech with campaigns, preventive intercultural programmes and adjustments to lesson plans. We are drafting a public tender at the Ministry for the strengthening of the civil society space and the promotion of cooperation activities of the citizens in the decision-making processes. Because we know that many professionals operate in non-governmental organisations, and that such organisations tend to quickly recognise the needs of the people, we will systematically include you in the decision-making processes and thus provide safeguards to prevent the reoccurrence of the systematic destruction of the rule of law,” said the Minister of Public Administration, Sanja Ajanovič Hovnik.

The strengthening of an encouraging environment and support for the development of a civil society is a complex task. It includes the establishment of an infrastructure intended to ensure space for dialogue, promote a favourable regulatory environment, allow access to funds for financing the organisation of the civil society (especially the advocacy activity), and to improve cooperation standards of the civil society in the legislation adoption processes.

The Ministry of Public Administration is drafting a public tender aimed at co-financing projects for the strengthening of the civil society space and promoting cooperation activities of the citizens/residents in the decision-making processes, which will be intended to promote participation of the citizens/residents in the decision-making processes and strengthen the capacity and role of NGOs in the civil dialogue.

At the end, the Minister thanked the representatives of the non-governmental organisations and civil societies for their efforts to create a better society. “I thank you for your contribution and call on you to continue with your work, to pursue your vision and to work for a better and more democratic society,” she concluded.