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Minority organisation proposes new standing committee

Klagenfurt, 17 January - The National Council of Carinthian Slovenians (NSKS), one of the main Slovenian minority organisations in Austria, proposes the setting up of a standing committee of representatives from Austria, Slovenia and the Slovenian minority in Austria, following the Austrian-Italian example.

The NSKS presented the proposal as it extended congratulations upon the 30th anniversary of the international recognition of Slovenia's independence. It also reminded Slovenia of its role as the successor state to the Austrian State Treaty.

"As representatives of the Slovenian community in Carinthia, we would like to take this opportunity to remind Slovenia of fulfilling its role as the successor state of the actual signatory to the Austrian State Treaty of 1955," the NSKS wrote.

It added that a standing committee of representatives from Austria, Slovenia and the Slovenian minority in Austria could be established, following the example of Austrian-Italian cooperation regarding minority communities.

The committee could regularly make binding proposals to the regional and federal governments and contribute to resolving outstanding issues, the NSKS explained.

Among the outstanding issues, they highlighted education, pre-school and after-school care, bilingualism, and the official language in education and in courts. The NSKS also called for an update to the law on ethnic minorities that would strengthen their representation through elections.

The NSKS also thanked a number of Austrian officials in culture and politics for their contribution to Slovenian statehood three decades ago, and Slovenian politicians and others who contributed to keeping the peace at the Austrian-Slovenian border at the time.

lkr/mab
© STA, 2022