Promotion of cultural development of the autochthonous Italian and Hungarian national communities in Slovenia
Promotion of cultural activities of the autochthonous Italian and Hungarian national communities in Slovenia in accordance with their expressed cultural requirements, to maintain the cultural development of national communities and to improve conditions for the cultural diversity of programmes of Italian and Hungarian national communities. On the basis of Article 64 of the Constitution of the RS, the Italian and Hungarian national communities and their members are guaranteed the right to preserve their national identity, to establish organisations and to develop cultural activities. It is also stipulated that the state financially and morally supports the implementation of these rights. Cultural programmes of national communities have been financially supported by the Ministry of Culture of the RS from the beginning (1991); in 2002, the Act Regulating the Realisation of the Public Interest in the Field of Culture further operatively defined the measures in the area of culture also for the two national communities in Articles 31 and 59.
The financing of various types of activities within the programmes of national communities with an annual submission of a direct call to the two national communities' central organisations and receiving feedback and proposals on the selected cultural programmes of Italian and Hungarian national communities. The participation of national communities in defining the goals of cultural policy in the section which relates to them, and the implementation of counselling at the Department for Cultural Diversity and Human Rights for the preparation and implementation of cultural programmes. The organisation of coordination meetings before issuing direct calls and, if necessary, also after the receipt of proposals for their programmes and the preparation of sector-specific laws with opinions from the national communities. The mutual establishment of the requirements for modifications in the area of institutes' operations of the Department for Cultural Diversity and Human Rights and national communities' central organisations. The improvement of the financing system of national communities’ cultural programmes on the basis of regular evaluations and meetings with representatives of national communities and the promotion of the inclusion of national communities' institutes in the programmes of cross-border, interregional and international cooperation and the promotion of inclusion of the Italian and Hungarian national communities in the cultural programmes and projects of local communities. At the end of each calendar year, the Ministry of Culture submits to the both national communities a direct call which invites them to present the proposals for their cultural programmes for the following year. The proposals present the operation of public institutes established by each individual national community (they include funds for salaries and contributions of employees, general expenses and programme material expenses) and funds intended for the managers of the activities who are selected by the two central organisations of national communities by public procurement or a call whereby the Rules on the implementation of a public call and public tender are applied as appropriate. On the basis of Article 15 of the Self-Governing Ethnic Communities Act, the Ministry of Culture annually asks the two central organisations of national communities for their opinions relating to all matters concerning them. Thus, a regular annual coordination meeting takes place at the Department for Cultural Diversity and Human Rights, where representatives of national communities define their cultural requirements and the amount of funds necessary for their cultural programme, within the available budget. Before the direct call, the expert service submits to the national communities the direct call documentation, model contracts and decisions, and other appropriate material for a review.
Challenges identified in the implementation of this measure:
The richness resulting from coexistence, the enrichment of diversity on all levels and consistent implementation of the rights of members of national minorities can be an additional encouragement for good relations between our citizens and also for the international reputation of the state.
The implementation of the cultural programme of minorities within the framework of the umbrella organisations (the central organisation of the Italian national community – Coastal Italian Self-Governing National Community, Italian Centre for Promotion, Culture, Education and Development Carlo Combi founded in 2005, and the central organisation of the Hungarian National community – Institute for Culture of Hungarian Nationality founded in 1994) which implement, organise and conduct various cultural activities within the cultural programme of ethnicities. Both institutes support the activities of societies in the ethnically mixed areas, i.e. in the area of publishing, cultural groups, contacting the nation of origin, events and activities for the preservation of their mother tongue, lectures and seminars, and cooperation on scientific-cultural projects. With the professionalisation of several functions, this structure has shown good results and as an example of good practice was also applied in the neighbouring countries.