Parliament president talks integration with German-speaking community

Ljubljana, 27 June - National Assembly President Urška Klakočar Zupančič met with representatives of the German-speaking ethnic community in Slovenia on Tuesday. She agreed with them that efforts should aspire to integration and not assimilation. They also talked about the planned new programme under the Slovenia-Austria cultural agreement.

Klakočar Zupančič met Jan Schaller, head of the Cultural Associations of Gottscheers and Styrians in Slovenia, and Veronika Haring, head of the Mostovi Maribor Cultural Association of German-Speaking Women, reads the National Assembly's press release.

The two representatives highlighted a thousand years of cultural and social exchange between the German and Slovenian nations, and presented to Klakočar Zupančič their years-long efforts to get the community recognised as minority.

Schaller and Haring also made clear their expectations regarding the emerging new programme of the Slovenia-Austria agreement on cooperation in culture, education and science, under which the community's requests for minority status could be met.

The parliamentary president agreed with the two that efforts should be targetted at integration and not assimilation of various ethnic communities in Slovenia. She is happy that there is a new task force at the Culture Ministry dedicated to permanent dialogue with the community's representatives.

The Slovenia-Austria agreement, known as the cultural agreement, was adopted in 2002 after several years of negotiations.

© STA, 2023