Skip to main content


Slovenia and Euro-Med countries on Education for Dialogue

Piran, 9 October 2017 – Today marks the start of a two-day Euro-Med conference ‘Educate for Dialogue’, co-organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, the Anna Lindh Foundation and the Euro-Mediterranean University (EMUNI). Aimed at opening up space for a Euro-Mediterranean dialogue on intercultural issues and the enhancement of social and civic competence, the conference was opened by M. Karl Erjavec, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs.

“It is my great pleasure to open the conference ‘Educate for Dialogue’, the second conference in a row that the Ministry and its partners are dedicating to intercultural dialogue in the Mediterranean,” said Minister Erjavec in his opening address, adding that intercultural dialogue remains a universal necessity. “It is the single most important guarantee of better understanding, cooperation and progress,” underlined the Minister. He said that the Euro-Mediterranean region needs a positive regional approach fostering cultural diversity, inter-faith dialogue and proactive citizenship, a context in which the significance and proactive role of Slovenia as a Mediterranean country cannot be overlooked.

The conference is aimed at promoting dialogue in the Euro-Med area on inter-culturalism and ways of enhancing social and civic competences. Government and NGO representatives as well as representatives of international organisations and educational institutions from the Mediterranean agreed that education plays a vital role in society in pursuing and ensuring regional and international stability.

Moreover, the conference reaffirmed the importance of cooperation between a wide range of stakeholders, ranging from the local community and civil society, to social entrepreneurs and cultural workers, who act as multipliers in promoting dialogue with a view to increasing respect for diversity, common values and enhancing youth exchange in both formal and informal education.

“I sincerely wish this conference, which I have the pleasure to open for the second time, becomes one of the main Euro-Med events in the region, steering and promoting intercultural civic education as the main element of intercultural dialogue, as well as offering a set of useful recommendations for governments, educational institutions and other stakeholders,” said Minister Erjavec. He concluded by inviting all the participants to visit the photography exhibition ‘One Day in the Mediterranean’, which was opened in Tartini Square in Piran.

In her introductory address, Ms. Elisabeth Guigou, president of the Anna Lindh Foundation, thanked Minister Erjavec for his support in organising the conference, and underscored the importance of education in bolstering democratic dialogue and reducing tension in society.

The conference participants were also welcomed by Maja Makovec Brenčič, Minister of Education, Science and Sport, and Abdelhamid El-Zoheiry, President of EMUNI. The latter underscored the relevance of intercultural dialogue for the young, while the Minister of Education mentioned the Ministry’s efforts to ensure a safe and encouraging learning environment, which is constantly upgraded in cooperation with pertinent experts, trade unions, public institutions and schools.

'Educate for Dialogue' is the second high-level conference on the topic in the Euro-Med region. It brought together around 100 experts and educators, who focused on the primary role of education in raising awareness among the young of intercultural dialogue, tolerance and accepting diversity.

In this field, the Anna Lindh Foundation plays a special role, as it promotes dialogue between 43 member countries and their civil society organisations. The Slovenian network comprises more than 80 civil society organisations and other stakeholders. Their projects, carried out in cooperation with partners in the Euro-Med area, contribute to strengthening the Mediterranean identity of Slovenia and its engagement in this area.

On the sidelines of the conference, Minister Erjavec held a bilateral meeting with Elisabeth Guigou.