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Slovenia/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.8 Social cohesion and cultural policies

Slovenia signed the JIM-Joint Inclusion Memorandum of the European Commission programme on social inclusion in 2002. In 2004, the National Action Plan on Social Inclusion (2004-2006) was adopted. In 2006, Slovenia joined the other members of the EU in drafting the "National Report for Strategies on Social Protection and Social Inclusion 2006-2008" and in 2007, the "Amended National Report for Strategies on Social Protection and Social Inclusion 2006-2008" was adopted. Its goal was to check the implementation of the measures contained in the strategy and to outline other important developments that have taken place since the adoption of the Strategy or that have took place in 2007. Later on the production of this kind of document ceased.

In 2010 a contact point for the field of human rights and minority's cultural rights was formed at Ministry of Culture, and several analyses have been performed under its cover. Currently an idea to form a national institution for human rights is being considered by the Republic of Slovenia. Positive feedback for this idea has been received from the United Nations, which also advised Slovenia to implement a National Action Plan in the Field of Human Rights, following the 71st paragraph of the Vienna declaration (1993).

The project European Capital of Culture Maribor 2012 also brought particular emphasis to community and social cohesion aspects, especially with its programme module Urban Furrows. The programme module was established so that it developed concrete examples of good practice in terms of alternative and autonomous production, specifically in those aspects of life which are a prerequisite for a tolerant, mutually cooperative, and creative society. On one hand, it was focused on strengthening a culture of cohabitation, while on the other it aimed to preserve the cultural heritage which inevitably includes biotic diversity. It primarily aimed to establish examples of good practice to empower communities. In less than half a year, with the intense cooperation of five research groups, the programme expanded its activities to include cooperation with over a thousand children, parents, various ethnic groups, experts, youth, farmers, workers, homeless people, Roma, handicapped people, and those who feel they have no future. The affirmation of the oppressed and dehumanised, or those who, despite their capabilities and competency, are unable to make a living, took place through attempts to construct new kinds of subjectivities, which were established through emancipatory processes, such as the creative communities, cooperation, mutuality, solidarity, and dignity. During the project, seven innovative development projects were undertaken (Sustainable Local Supply, Seed Library, Alternative Community Gardens, Ethnomobile, Teleport, Centre for Alternative and Autonomous Production, Answers and Alternatives with Rhizom Group). It was the first time such emphasis on community and cohesion projects was given during the European Capital of Culture project.

The Ministry of Culture introduced a special budget item line in 2005 dedicated to blind and deaf people. In 2010 around 182 000 EUR was allocated to publishing in Braille scripture, for media activities and technical equipment. The umbrella association of deaf people received funds for the special technical infrastructure. A specialised library operates at the Association for Blind and Short-sighted People.

The Third Age University of Slovenia is a voluntary educational movement aimed at those over the age of 50, mostly retired people, but also for older workers who are unemployed. It has been established to provide access to culture and education for the elderly and to contribute to their changing social and economic position. The Third Age University encompasses, at present, 35 universities all over the country. Each Slovenian university organises study circles, lectures, and some of them also have summer universities, educational camps, study trips, etc.

The Third Age University has both educational and social goals. It has recently introduced two new fields of research and activity pertaining to all adults, regardless of their age, namely dyslexia in adults and burn-out as a result of non-reciprocal relationships at work or in private life. Objectives are:

  • to stimulate the development of the education of the elderly for social roles, personal growth, second careers and active citizenship;
  • to educate the elderly;
  • to educate mentors and other professionals;
  • to investigate education of the elderly and to raise public awareness in the field;
  • to offer counselling on the local, national and international level;
  • to conduct public campaigns aiming at changing the position of the elderly in society; and
  • to design new educational programmes for the elderly and other adults.

Chapter published: 11-02-2015

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