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Prime Minister Robert Golob: No matter where we go or our feet take us, Slovenia will always be in our hearts

At the invitation of the Prime Minister and the President of the Government Council for Slovenians in Neighbouring Countries, Robert Golob, the Government Council for Slovenians Abroad met today. The participants discussed the realities, achievements and key challenges faced by Slovenian communities around the world.

The session was attended by representatives of Slovenian communities around the world and Slovenian organisations dedicated to preserving Slovenian identity worldwide. Also in attendance were Minister for Slovenians Abroad Matej Arčon, ministers and state secretaries from various sectors, including the economy, education, higher education, foreign and European affairs, whose roles and responsibilities are connected to the activities of Slovenians abroad. In the discussion, the members of the Government Council presented the challenges that Slovenian societies, associations and federations around the world are currently facing.

In his statement following the session, Prime Minister Golob thanked the Slovenian national football team, the professional management, coach Matjaž Kek and the Football Association of Slovenia for their outstanding performance in the eighth final of the EURO 2024. "The match was truly heart-stopping, and the emotions were incredible. Even though we missed out on qualification for the next round, I believe we all felt like winners yesterday, so a big thank you to everyone," he said.

"Slovenians, no matter where we go or our feet take us, we always keep Slovenia in our hearts.  On the one hand, this is cosmopolitanism, and on the other hand, it is love for our homeland, which is written in our genes," the Prime Minister continued.  He added that the representatives at today's session emphasised their attachment to Slovenia and their desire to not only preserve but, above all, strengthen the link with the homeland.

Prime Minister Golob said that three areas of cooperation were discussed at the session.  "The first priority is to take care of the Slovenian language.  We want to provide even more assistance, especially in preschool education, to ensure the preservation of the Slovenian language," he explained.

He also mentioned cooperation in the business and scientific research fields, where important steps have already been made.  "I am confident that we will further strengthen this cooperation," he said.

Council members also discussed how to speed up the return of expatriates.  "This is not a one-way process, as it is important to motivate people to return to Slovenia. To this end, we are also preparing an action plan to encourage the return of Slovenians," he said, expressing his satisfaction that the Council session was held in a very positive and highly constructive spirit. "Our goal is to build even more bridges to the Slovenian expatriate communities so that Slovenia will be even more proud of its expatriates.  And so that they, in the same way, will be even more proud of their homeland," concluded Prime Minister Golob.

The Government Council for Slovenians Abroad is a permanent consultative body of the Government.  In addition to the President and the Vice-President, the Council is composed of 19 members.  Of these, six are representatives of state bodies and institutions and civil society organisations from Slovenia, and 13 are representatives of Slovenians abroad. As a consultative body of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia, the Council participates in the formulation and implementation of policies and the preparation of strategies concerning the care for Slovenians abroad.