Skip to main content

Minister Fajon and Governor of Carinthia Kaiser confirm excellent relations between Slovenia and Carinthia

Representatives of Slovenia and Carinthia met at Brdo pri Kranju for the 7th session of the Joint Committee Slovenia – Carinthia, co-chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Tanja Fajon, and the Governor of Carinthia, Dr Peter Kaiser. The chairs reaffirmed the excellent relations and committed to continuing their successful cooperation.

During their bilateral meeting, Minister Fajon and Governor Kaiser explored areas of shared interest and potential cooperation. The Minister referred to the situation of the Slovenian minority in Carinthia and advocated for the strict implementation of their rights.
 "I appreciate the willingness of the Carinthian Government announced today regarding increased flexibility in the recruitment of bilingual teachers. We look forward to seeing Carinthia's commitments translated into action at the earliest opportunity," remarked Minister Fajon after the meeting.

The counterparts expressed mutual interest in fostering continued close economic cooperation, strengthening infrastructure connections between Slovenia and Carinthia and promoting cross-border integration across various sectors. "Our economic cooperation is extensive and very successful. Carinthia accounts for 10% of Slovenia's total trade with Austria. It is encouraging to witness numerous new initiatives for closer cooperation on science and research presented during this session, which will enhance our region’s competitiveness," added Minister Fajon. Both underlined the importance of regional integration and robust transport links. They welcomed the recent breakthrough of the second tube of the Karavanke motorway tunnel and the agreement on the reconstruction of the Ljubelj tunnel.

At the meeting, the Minister once again thanked the Governor for his efforts and support during the catastrophic floods in Slovenia in 2023. They also discussed strategies for addressing natural and other disasters, including emergency medical services: "We will work towards concluding a special agreement on the provision of emergency medical services in the border area. When it comes to saving lives, the border should not stand in the way," the Minister stressed.

They also exchanged views on the upcoming European Parliament elections, migration and the future of the Schengen area.

The Joint Committee Slovenia – Carinthia reviewed past cooperation and agreed that it should be continued. Strengthening cross-border integration, implementing joint projects and exchanging expertise and best practices in the fields of transport, energy, environment, spatial planning, disaster preparedness, social policy, demographic challenges, healthcare, education, culture, sport, science and research, digital transformation, the economy, tourism, agriculture and rural development are of mutual interest to Slovenia and Carinthia. The Slovenian minority living in Carinthia holds a significant role in enhancing coexistence and fostering cross-border cooperation between Slovenia and Carinthia. At the meeting, the participating sides adopted the Joint Statement (pdf, 603KB).

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Slovenia – Carinthia Joint Committee. Its inaugural session was held at Brdo pri Kranju on 25 April 2014, following an agreement between the then Slovenian Foreign Minister and the Governor of Carinthia at a meeting in June 2013 to revive the cooperation between Slovenia and Carinthia, which had previously taken the form of a Contact Committee. The Joint Committee meets once a year, alternately in Slovenia and Carinthia, while ongoing cooperation and exchanges take place between the relevant ministries on both sides.