Revived constitutional dispute in Carinthia?

- Communiqués de presse

FUEN resolutely in favour of enshrining the Slovenian minority in the constitution

The reform of the Carinthian state constitution, which is one of the key priorities of the Carinthian state government consisting of the three coalition parties (SPÖ: Social Democrats – Prime Minister Kaiser, ÖVP: Conservatives – state party leader and Minister of Economy and Culture Benger, Die Grünen: Greens – Minister Rolf Holub) is drawing public attention now.

FUEN President Loránt Vincze addresses Prime Minister Kaiser, Minister Benger and Minister Holub directly to encourage the state of Carinthia to enshrine the Slovenian minority in the constitution. Vincze: “I encourage the political parties and the representatives of the minorities to work together, so that the state of Carinthia will remain the traditionally open and bi-cultural region that benefits its citizens.”

The coalition had agreed that in the new state constitution also the Slovenian minority would be included, stating literally that: ”Enshrining the Slovenian minority in the new Carinthian state constitution would be a clear step forward and would have a positive impact well beyond the borders of Carinthia. Language and culture, traditions and cultural heritage must be respected, protected and promoted. It is the duty of the state and the municipalities to have equal regards for its German- and Slovenian-speaking citizens. 

It is from this agreement that the Carinthian Conservatives (ÖVP) have now withdrawn. This has deeply shocked the members of the Slovenian minority, especially because it constitutes a denial of historical circumstances and would be a step back to the minority policy of the last century.

Since the compromise in 2011 on the place-name signs the climate in Carinthia has clearly changed for the better. Although a large part of the arrangements for the benefit of the minority have until now not yet been implemented (e.g. certain key issues, such as the long overdue reform of the Minority Act, unambiguous legal rules in the field of education from kindergarten up to the school leaving examination, funding for the minority that has been stagnant for 20 years, the 50% cuts for the Slovenian school of music, etcetera), nevertheless a permanent dialogue platform was established where topical minority issues could be discussed, the “Dialogue Forum at the Office of the Carinthian State Government”.

FUEN Vice President Bernhard Ziesch (Lusatian Sorb) and Speaker for the Slavic Minorities inside FUEN: ”By enshrining the Slovenian minority in the new state constitution, Carinthia has the chance to make a decisive step forward in realising a peaceful, equitable and future-oriented coexistence of minority and majority in Carinthia and in Europe”. 

Background information

FUEN represents the interests of these European minorities on the regional, national and in particular on the European level.  With more than 90 member organisations in 32 European countries. FUEN is the largest umbrella organisation of the autochthonous, national minorities in Europe. FUEN is committed to protect and promote the identity, language, culture, rights and own character of the European minorities. FUEN was founded in Paris in 1949, and today it has three offices: in Flensburg, Berlin and Brussels.

The state of Carinthia is one of the regions that supports FUEN financially. FUEN President Loránt Vincze was one of the speakers at the XXVIIth European Minority Congress of the state of Carinthia in 2016. The Council of the Carinthian Slovenes (Narodni svet koroških Slovencev NSKS / Rat der Kärtner Slowenen) and the Community of Carinthian Slovenes (Skupnost koroških Slovencev in Slovenk SKS / Gemeinschaft der Kärntner Slowenen und Sloweninnen) are member organisations of FUEN. 

Points importants

  • Participations politiques
  • Droits fondamentaux
  • Diversité linguistique
  • Solidarité avec les Roms
  • L’Initiative citoyenne européenne
  • Réseau internet européen
  • Forum européen des communautés, minorités et nationalités / Maison des minorités et nationalités européennes


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