Higlights April 2008

Interview: Dragutin Mate, Minister of the Interior

Dragutin Mate, who became Minister of the Interior on 3 December 2004, started as a teacher at the Poljane Grammar School in Ljubljana. He enjoyed teaching as the right approach and the proper teaching methods alongside with his ability to understand and relate to students helped him establish a good working environment. He continuned his professional career at the Ministry of Defence, where he became acquainted with a wide spectrum of various tasks, military as well as civil ones. At his appointment to the post of Minister of the Interior he was a rather unknown public figure due to his previous political inactivity and was therefore mostly known only to the people who were professionally linked to the Ministry of Defence. At his new employment he then efficiently used his previous experience from the Ministry of Defence but, of course, great amounts of effort and energy were nevertheless needed in order to become fully acquainted with the topics, various documents and the functioning of the system. Namely, Ministry of the Interior deals with a wide palette of tasks – besides traffic safety and control they are in charge of all the personal issues: record, central registers, vehicle registrations, issuing of documents (identity cards, driving, traffic licences, passports …), updating electoral registers. In the previous year the ministry was marked by an especially great achievement – Slovenia’s entry into the Schengen Area. Border control was abolished and Slovenes can now cross the Schengen countrys’ borders anywhere we want. The last step of the Schengen expansion happened just recently – on 31 March 2008 when the border checks at internal air borders were lifted as well.

The procedure for the granting of citizienship of the Republic of Slovenia and the registry

This month’s topic presents the information on various possibilites of acquiring the citizenship of Republic of Slovenia, gives a description of the procedures, the required documents and forms. Detailed questions concerning the discussed topic can be asked at: drzavljanstvo-dunz.mnz@gov.si.

In the article you can also search for information on the governing of registry facts and on the changes of the citizens’ personal status in the registry, which is, among other, connected to the electoral record. Ministry of the Interior strives to establish an updated electoral register, for which it requires a complete permanent address, postal code and the address for realization of the right to vote, which is a citizen’s last permanent address. If a citizen of the Republic of Slovenia did not have it, the last permanent address of one of the parents is used instead. If this address can not be established either, the citizen himself/herself states in which electoral district he/she would like to vote.

Conclusion of the Office’s fifth prize competition

Government of the Republic of Slovenia’s Office for Slovenes Abroad holds an annual competition for best diplomas, Master’s degrees and doctoral dissertations on the topics of Slovenes Abroad and Slovenes in Exile. This year’s awards were solemnly given out by the state secretary Zorko Pelikan at the Slovene Academy for Science and Art on 19 March. The first prize went to Lara Spinazzola for »Values and Viewpoints of Students Abroad in Comparison with the Italian and Slovene Students«, the second prize was given to Alenka Mrše for her »Representation of Austria and Austrians in Selected Slovene Media« and the third prize was awarded to Dusán Mukics for his »Translator from Porabian Dialect to Slovene Literary Language«. The committee gave Nadja David’s doctoral dissertation »Die Slowenische Mundart von Gorentschach/Gorenče« honourable mention.

In the category Slovenes in Exile the committee did not award the first prize. Žiga Zorc got the second prize for his »Organization of Slovenes in Australia and the Preservation of Their Identity as seen in Melbourne«, the third prize was awarded to Jernej Švab for »Slovenes in France.«

Start the spring with medals

March was a very successful month for Slovene sports. In the two sports, which maybe hold the greatest value, the Slovene competitors won three medals at the World and European Championships. Our swimmers won two medals at the European championships in 50-metre pools. Sara Isakovič, 19, from Bled won the first gold medal for Slovenia after 27 years, while Peter Mankoč from Ljubljana won silver in Eindhoven. Marija Šestak shone at the world indoor championships in athletics. She won bronze at the triple jump in Valencia, which is the fourth Slovene medal at such competitions.

Aljaž Kovač


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