The Slovenia Times

SKGZ Honoured for 60 Years of Efforts for Minority in Italy


Pahor presented the organisation with the State Order for Service at a ceremony in Italy's Trieste on Friday, which was also addressed by the city's mayor, Roberto Cosolini, and Boštjan Žekš, the former diaspora minister, as the keynote speaker.

The SKGZ was founded in Trieste in 1954, after that part of the Free Territory of Trieste, an area under the direct responsibility of the UN Security Council, had become part of Italy under the London Memorandum that year.

The SKGZ is seen as the more left-leaning of the two umbrella organisations. The predominately Catholic members of the community meanwhile gathered in organisations that in 1976 merged into the Council of Slovenian Organisations (SSO).

The SKGZ "has been present at all key moments for the Slovenian national community in Italy. It has carefully organised the life of the minority so it could live not just as a linguistic and cultural community but also as an economic and political entity," the substantiation of the state order reads.

The president's office recognised the organisation's merits in its "unrelenting" fight for the implementation of the minority rights guaranteed by international treaties and the Italian constitution, and for representing the minority in talks with Italian institutions and authorities in Slovenia.

One of its major missions was the long-running efforts for the adoption of the law safeguarding the minority's rights. Based on more than fifty versions of the motion since 1970, the SKGZ drew up a comprehensive document in 1972. The law was eventually passed by the Italian parliament in 2001.

"As a non-party organisation, the SKGZ today brings together more than 20 different institutions from the fields of culture, business, education, sport, media, research and other activities that form the solid core of Slovenianhood in Italy," the reasoning of the prize reads.

Aside from being an important factor of the community's cohesion and protection, the organisation is also praised for its efforts in the "creation of a productive symbiosis at the crossroads of two nations and their cultures".


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