German-speaking Slovenes Call for Minority Rights

By , 23 Mar 2018, 09:17 AM News
German-speaking Slovenes Call for Minority Rights Wikimedia: Marcomogollon, German language CC by 4.0

Share this:

The community has about 2,000 members, living mostly along the border with Austria, but also in the area of Kočevje in the south. 

STA, March 21, 2018 – The German speaking community in Slovenia called on the government on Wednesday to start the process of recognising it as a minority in the Constitution. Only Hungarian and Italian communities are recognised as autochthonous ethnic minorities by the Slovenian Constitution.

The umbrella Federation of Cultural Associations of the German Speaking Ethnic Group in Slovenia published a resolution in the newspaper Večer, underlining that the community was in dire need of funds in order to survive.

Slovenia "is ignoring the recommendations by the Council of Europe, which form the basis for survival of a minority language, and address fields of education in German, recognition of the minority language in radio and TV programmes and provision of satisfactory funds," the resolution said.

By providing the much-needed funding, Slovenia would enable the association's long-term development, added the heads of seven associations, who signed the resolution. They also stressed that the German community had lived in today's Slovenia for centuries.

Were it not for the help of NGOs, the community's associations would no longer be active today, added the resolution, signed yesterday, when community representatives met Austria's Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl on her first visit to Slovenia after taking office in December.

Kneissl expressed support for the community's cause after meeting her Slovenian counterpart Karl Erjavec yesterday.

Slovenia believes that the position of the German-speaking community in Slovenia falls under a 2001 agreement with Austria on cooperation in culture, education and science.

Under the agreement, the German-speaking community enjoys the rights stated in Article 61 of the Constitution, which stipulates that everyone has the right to "freely express affiliation with their nation or national community, to foster and give expression to their culture, and to use their language and script".

It is estimated that the community has about 2,000 members, living in several parts of Slovenia: mostly in parts along the border with Austria, but also in the area of Kočevje in the south.

Similar demands have also been expressed by ethnic communities from the former Yugoslavia.

Photo galleries and videos

This websie uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.