Janša and Orban to sign agreement on cross-border regional cooperation

Ljubljana – Prime Minister Janez Janša will meet his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban in Lendava on Monday to sign an agreement on cooperation in the development of the regions with mixed Slovenian-Hungarian population, Janša’s office confirmed on Friday. Bilateral relations will also be discussed, the office said.

The meeting was also confirmed by Budapest, with the Hungarian press agency MTI reporting that the PMs will sign an agreement to set up a joint fund for the development of Prekmurje and Porabje, the border regions populated by the Hungarian and Slovenian ethnic minorities.

Janša and Orban are to talk about ways to encourage economic and social development of the two regions with the signing of the agreement in Lendava being the main event of Orban’s visit.

Based on the agreement, a development programme will be formed securing additional funding in the 2022-2026 period for promoting economic development and minority media, cultural and education institutions.

As part of the visit, Education Minister Simona Kustec and Hungarian Deputy Foreign Minister Levente Magyar will sign an agreement on cooperation in education, culture and science for the 2022-2025 period.

According to Janša’s office, the Slovenian government stresses the need for improving the material situation of the Slovenian community in Porabje.

Young generations in particular need to be given opportunities to preserve the language and culture of their community, and find job and business opportunities in their local environment, it said.

Slovenia and Hungary have had intensive dialogue on all levels, which was confirmed when the two countries’ governments met in Celje in September 2021, the prime minister’s office said.

Economic cooperation has also been picking up, as Hungary is Slovenia’s seventh most important trade partner.

Slovenia has been implementing development programmes in areas inhabited by the Hungarian ethnic minority since 2017, while Hungary launched a development programme in Porabje in 2020.