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Slovenia/ 3.4 International cultural co-operation  

3.4.6 Other relevant issues

Support and promotion of the Slovenians in neighbouring countries and around the world

In 2006, the Government Office for Slovenes Abroad took over all responsibilities for supporting cultural activities of the Slovenian Diaspora from the Ministry of Culture. Before this change in 2005, approximately one million EUR was spent on cultural support for the diaspora. The largest sums went to their umbrella organisations and professional institutes such as publishing houses, theatres, and research institutes. The Office carries out projects related to the Slovenian minority in neighbouring countries (Italy, Austria, Croatia and Hungary) and Slovenian emigrants around the world (Argentina, Canada, Australia, Germany, Sweden...). The Office maintains contact with the Slovenian minority and emigrant organisations, promoting their cultural, educational, economic and other links with Slovenia and providing assistance with respect to their legal status. Financial support for programmes and projects involving Slovenes abroad, and for cooperation with them, is provided through public calls for tenders. The Office also co-finances tuition fees for Slovenian language courses in Slovenia, covers travelling expenses for participants from the Diaspora country, co-organises seminars for teachers and cultural animators of the Diaspora, supports activities for the preservation of archival materials of Slovenian associations and organisations abroad and confers acknowledgements to meritorious associations and individuals from the Diaspora. The Office is also responsible for monitoring and coordinating the activities of the ministries that are responsible for cooperation with Slovenes outside the Republic.

Diversity of international cultural events

There are many important international cultural events in different fields, which makes selection for support very problematic. Some of them are:

  • Vilenica, including a literature prize (international gathering of established authors from Central Europe and beyond with special attention for lesser known literatures of Europe);
  • Days of Poetry and Wine (first organised in Medana, a village in the wine region Goriška brda, later moved in the oldest Slovenian town Ptuj that is host to a group of distinguished poets from around the world);
  • World Literatures – Fabula Festival with renowned European story writers and numerous Slovene authors, which up to 2013 also included the bestowal of the Fabula Award for the best Slovene book of short stories.
  • Biennial of Industrial Design (presents an expert selection of industrial design products by Slovene and foreign designers, contemporary trends in world industrial design);
  • International Graphic Biennial in Ljubljana (50 years in existence);
  • Forma Viva in Kostanjevica and in Piran;
  • Biennial Puppet Festival in Ljubljana (established in 1995);
  • Ljubljana Summer Festival (traditionally hosts well known classical music performers and orchestras);
  • Jazz Festival Ljubljana (a high-quality programme of jazz music);
  • Druga Godba (international festival of acclaimed world music groups);
  • Festival BreĹžice (Early Music Festival which takes place at about a dozen venues including castles and monasteries in the South-East of Slovenia);
  • Lent Festival in Maribor (around 400 events and a great number of visitors);
  • Ljubljana Film Festival LIFFe (an annual overview of selected cinematography (established in 1989– around 100 films with 50 000 spectators and with 70% European productions);
  • Exodos - International Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts which lost state funds in 2007 and after 13 years of existence reduces its programme by the third by keeping municipal financial support ;
  • Ex ponto (which links ex-Yugoslav cultural initiatives);
  • Break Festival (an international festival of young emerging artists);
  • City of Women Festival (with a focus on contemporary arts and female creativity);
  • Ljubljana Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (established in 1984);
  • Magdalena (International Festival of Creative Communication in Maribor is a competitive platform for young designers); and
  • Arhipelag (an international festival of contemporary art organised by two border cities, Nova Gorica in Slovenia and Gorizia in Italy and open to all forms of creative expression (painting, sculpture, drawing, graphics, photography, video, new media, installation, performance etc.) and is not limited to any specific theme.

Slovene presidency of the EU

Cultural dialogue was one of the priority issues for the Slovene Presidency of the EU in the first half of 2008 which included the opening of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue (organised by the EU and Slovenia in Ljubljana); an Informal meeting of European common cultural points (with the main topic on intercultural dialogue between the SE Europe and the EU); and an international conference on "Europe, world and humanity in the 21st century"; the conference "New Paradigms, New Models – Culture in the EU External Relations" with the active engagement of participants from EU neighbouring countries in the Western Balkans and from the European and Mediterranean members of the European Neighbourhood Policy area.

Other important decisions or events from the period of the Slovenian Presidency are:

  • the inclusion of culture as a development factor in the Lisbon Strategy - an important step towards the recognition of culture in connection with investments in know-how and innovation and by its inclusion in the Integrated Guidelines for Growth and Jobs;
  • the adoption of the Work Plan for Culture 2008–2010, which contained priority areas such as the improvement of conditions for the mobility of artists and other professionals in the cultural field; promotion of the accessibility of culture, especially by promoting cultural heritage, digitisation, cultural tourism and greater mobility of art collections; and promotion and implementation of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, and others;
  • the adoption of the Council's conclusions on the European approach to media literacy in the digital environment;
  • the decision on the general approach concerning the proposal for establishing a multi-annual Community programme for the protection of children using the Internet and other communication technologies; and
  • the confirmation of the proposed Council conclusions on intercultural competencies to ensure that intercultural dialogue would be kept alive in the context of all relevant European policies even after the end of the Year of Intercultural Dialogue.

Other sub-ministerial meetings for the first half of 2008 were: the conference on "Culture Online", reviewing the cultural content already available online (particularly the content using the most advanced technologies) in all cultural sectors, education, lifelong learning and cultural tourism; "Content Online for Creativity" aiming to shift the focus of the debate on the information society in the field of culture from technical matters to matters of content; conference Re-network! within the Informal meeting of European Cultural Contact Points (new business models for online distribution of content, piracy and legal offers, management of copyright online and media literacy and cultural diversity); informal meeting dedicated to the networking and stimulation of transnational cooperation and free flow of information in the cultural sector; DLM (Document Lifecycle Management) Forum Meeting and Meeting of the European Board of National Archivists (EBNA) of the EU member states and the candidate countries (regular annual meeting with the topic of improving the management of archived material and development of archiving services in the EU, with emphasis on the development of a recommended specification for the management and storage of electronic archives). The Ministry of Culture designated around 590 000 EUR in 2007 and 930 000 EUR in 2008 for the activities listed above.

Chapter published: 11-02-2015

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