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Session of the Government Council for Slovenians in the Neighbouring Countries

As President of the Government Council for Slovenians in the Neighbouring Countries, Prime Minister Robert Golob convened the Council's first session of the current term. The session focused on the current situation of the autochthonous Slovenian national communities in neighbouring countries, the challenges of cross-border cooperation and the preservation of the Slovenian language

The Government Council for Slovenians in the Neighbouring Countries is a permanent consultative body of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia. It is made up of the President and Vice-President, and 19 members, including five representatives of state bodies and institutions and civil society organisations from Slovenia and 14 representatives of Slovenians living abroad.  

At today’s session, the Prime Minister was joined by representatives of the autochthonous Slovenian national minorities in Austria, Italy, Croatia and Hungary. Deputy Prime Minister Matej Arčon, who is also the Minister for Slovenians abroad, attended the session with ministers and state secretaries responsible for agriculture, culture, the economy, education, and foreign affairs. Their responsibilities are directly related to the activities and situations of the Slovenian communities in these countries.

At the end of the session, Prime Minister Robert Golob was clear that different countries are subject to different regulatory frameworks, but all Slovenian communities living in neighbouring countries face common challenges. "First and foremost, we are committed to preserving the Slovenian language. All ministries are dedicated to this goal. We will provide even stronger support in this area in the future. We will also engage in dialogue with national and local authorities abroad to assist our organisations at the regulatory level, not just in terms of financial resources," the Prime Minister stated. He also made it clear that the Government is fully committed to promoting economic cooperation.

Prime Minister Golob stated that the session had focused on the European Grouping for Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) projects. "This is the most appropriate form of cooperation for linking local communities from both sides of the border. It is an excellent foundation on which to build understanding between the two nations. It also links the minority economically with local communities in Slovenia," the Prime Minister said. He added that "the ministries of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia will give these forms of cooperation their full support."

The Prime Minister stated outright that minorities frequently encounter significant financial obstacles in operating their institutions. He made it clear that regular dialogue between Slovenian minorities is essential for sharing best practices and experiences, which will lead to improved cooperation. "It is precisely the integration of all Slovenian minorities in one place, led by the Office of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia for Slovenians Abroad, that makes me optimistic for our minorities and our future," concluded Prime Minister Robert Golob.