Debate warns about youth exodus from Slovenia
At the debate focusing on the issue of the young emigrating from Slovenia and returning to their native country, the vice-president of the Commission Karla Urh pointed out that economic growth and higher recruitment rate did not curb the emigration. She thus called for determining causes for that and developing mitigation strategies.
The slogan of this year's get-together reflects the issue, posing a question of why the young are still leaving despite the improvements.
Speaker Dejan Židan said that the nation is not defined by genetics, but mostly by the "memory, language, culture and awareness of being part of the community". According to him, globalisation and internationalisation pose a threat to national identities.
Minister for Slovenians Abroad Peter J. Česnik said that he himself was an expatriate, having lived in Australia for a long time, and highlighted that living abroad was not easy. He pointed out that Slovenian national awareness at home was not as strong as that found in Slovenian communities outside the country, where the culture was maintained voluntarily.
The event was addressed by keynote speakers, including constitutional judge Klemen Jaklič, Jure Leskovec, an IT associate professor at Stanford University and co-founder of the American-Slovenian Education Foundation, an EU Parliament assistant Nežka Figelj and secretary at the Ministry for Slovenians Abroad Dejan Valentinčič.
Leskovec said that a lot of people emigrated from Slovenia to transcend the system of wage levelling, which forced them not to stand out or achieve exceptional results, adding that some also left to open a company abroad due to excessive red tape and high taxes at home.
Around half a million Slovenians or people of Slovenian descent identifying as such live outside Slovenia, representing some 20% of the Slovenian nation.