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Diaspora office looking at record budget in 2023

Ljubljana, 12 October - The Office for Slovenians Abroad is to see its annual budget increase from EUR 10.17 million this year to EUR 10.7 million in 2022 and to a record EUR 11.3 million in 2023. This follows from the national budget documents for the coming two years that were reviewed by the parliamentary Commission for Slovenians Abroad on Tuesday.

Commission members from the coalition and the opposition as well as State Secretary Dejan Valentinčič of the Office for Slovenians Abroad hailed the increase in budgetary funds for the office.

Valentinčič said the office's work was focused on fostering and enhancing the Slovenian national identity among the Slovenian communities in the neighbouring countries and worldwide.

Both him and MPs see boosting language skills as key to those efforts. The state secretary said the increase in funding was warranted also in light of a decline in language competences; he said Slovenia had a responsibility to elevate the level of Slovenian language teaching in various ways.

The office also deals with modern-day emigration and brain drain, subsidises business projects, tackles spatial problems faced by associations and promotes themes of Slovenian emigrants and minorities in the homeland.

The office awards budget funds in support of Slovenians abroad based on public calls. Three will be issued at the end of the year for funding in 2022.

Funds for Slovenians abroad are also provided by the ministries of education, culture, labour and defence.

ep/zm
© STA, 2021