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State Secretary Štucin discussing the situation of Slovenian minority in Austria

State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs Marko Štucin received Gabriel Hribar, President of the Unity List, the umbrella party of the Slovenian national minority in Austria, and Rudi Vouk, President of the Association of Slovenian Lawyers in Carinthia. They discussed the situation of the Slovenian minority in Austria and the petition on the inadequate implementation of minority rights.

Mr Hribar and Mr Vouk informed State Secretary Štucin about the petition to safeguard minority rights and uphold the rule of law in Austria, which will be considered by the European Parliament's Committee on Petitions (PETI) at a public hearing in Brussels on Monday 8 April 2024. The petition has been jointly submitted by the central organisations of the Carinthian Slovenians to draw attention to the inadequate implementation of minority rights under international agreements and the internal legal provisions of the Republic of Austria.

They also presented priority areas where the petitioners expect urgent action from the relevant Austrian authorities. These include the reform of bilingual education, the modernisation of the Minorities School Act for Carinthia, the use of the Slovene language in courts throughout the bilingual area, the provision of guaranteed Slovene language skills in the judiciary and administration, and the reform of the National Communities Act.

State Secretary Štucin supported the efforts of Slovenian organisations to promote minority rights and expressed the hope that their demands and arguments would be heard. He called for an accelerated resolution of outstanding issues in dialogue with the relevant Austrian authorities, assuring that Slovenia would continue to support its national minority in Austria and its efforts to fully implement its rights under the Austrian State Treaty, including in the framework of bilateral relations with friendly neighbouring Austria and in contacts with its official representatives.

državni sekretar Štucin z delegacijo sedi za mizo

State Secretary Štucin with representatives of the Slovenian minority in Austria | Author Ministrstvo za zunanje in evropske zadeve

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