The Slovenia Times

Institute of Ethnic Studies marks 90th anniversary


"As a society, we need to pay particular attention to cherishing our way of life, which respects tradition and basic values, and at the same time knows how to build a tolerant and respectful attitude towards differences", Cerar told the event at the National Gallery in Ljubljana.

Turning to the institute's anniversary, the prime minister said that rarely in science and in general could Slovenia boast being the first in Europe or even in the world as it could in the field of minority and ethnic studies.

The Institute of Ethnic Studies was established as an institute for minorities on 1 February 1925 in Ljubljana. It originally focused on studying the status of Slovenians abroad and the German and Hungarian ethnic communities in Slovenia.

The institute, which today deals with various ethnic, minority and border issues, was the only organisation of its kind during the Second World War in the occupied Europe.

Its director Sonja Novak Lukanovič warned at the ceremony about the global trend of deteriorating position of minorities and other marginalised groups, intolerance and xenophobia. Social and inter-ethnic relations are also worsening, she added.

Cerar also touched on the ongoing refugee crisis, saying that it had surprised Slovenia in a way and faced the country with an enormous challenge. He stressed that refugees should not be connected with terrorism in any way.

The prime minister called for Europe to be united in facing the issue: "If each country acts egotistically, then this will be the end of Europe, the end of story because of which these people are coming to us in the first place."


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