SLOVENES AROUND THE WORLD
According to the wording of the Act Regulating Relations between the Republic of Slovenia and Slovenians Abroad, Slovenes around the world are defined as workers abroad and emigrants living in neighbouring countries outside the area with the autochthonous Slovene community and in other European and non-European countries.
Thus, there are two categories of Slovenes around the world; workers abroad and emigrants. Our fellow countrymen – workers abroad mainly live in the EU countries (Austria, Germany, France, Sweden, Switzerland …) who emigrated from Slovenia mainly due to economic reasons. There were other reasons that influenced the emigration of Slovenes to overseas countries: lots of Slovenes are thus found in the USA, Canada, Argentina and other countries of Latin America, Australia, as well as some, in smaller numbers, however, are also found in the countries of Asia, Africa and Oceania. It is of particular interest that the category of emigrants in the far away countries also includes emigrants of modern global entrepreneurs.
A special category of Slovene fellow countrymen are Slovenes living in the republics of ex-Yugoslavia that were formed as states after the break-up of Yugoslavia in 1991. Slovene clubs are found in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina – together with the Republic Srbska, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia. The break-up of Yugoslavia made our fellow countrymen living in these territories citizens of other countries but their ties with the mother country, Slovene language and Slovene culture have never disappear and today they link them with the Republic of Slovenia even more intensely.
The Government Office for Slovenes Abroad places special attention to the cooperation with Slovene clubs around the world. It is also one of the Office’s tasks to follow up whether the legal and social state of Slovene minority is in compliance with the EU standards.
Some Slovenes categorized as Slovenes around the world left their homeland already in the 1930s. Afterwards, emigrations continued in intervals: after the WWII, in the 50s and 60s of the previous century. These emigrations were mainly caused by economic difficulties present in the territory of Slovenia at those times. Thus, the third and sometimes also the fourth generation of Slovenes can be found in some countries around the world. In these cases it is particularly important to preserve the Slovene identity also among the younger generations. Obviously, the new situation, the new time and new needs of new generations of Slovenes need to be taken into account which can only be done by joint efforts of Slovenes in the homeland and Slovenes around the world.
Contacts details of Slovene clubs and associations in the neighbouring countries and abroad are available on the web portal -Slovenci.si.