Hršak praised the enhanced cooperation between the two umbrella organisations, the Slovenian Cultural and Economic Association (SKGZ) and the Council of Slovenian Organisations (SSO) that "has already begun giving positive results in their approach to the Italian state".
The delegation moreover met Franco Iacop, the president of Friuli-Venezia Giulia's parliament, called regional council, with whom they praised regular meetings and the establishment of the Slovenia and Friuli-Venezia Giulia joint committee aimed at tackling open issues.
One such issue is a reform of local government in the region that envisages integration of smaller municipalities, which are predominantly Slovenian. While this should not be a problem with regards to minority rights in principle, there was already an issue reported, Hršak noted.
Another issue, according to him, is a new election law that virtually prevents the election of a Slovenian representative to Italian parliament. However, Hršak added, the matter was in the hands of the constitutional court at the moment and a final decision is still to be made.
The delegation also visited the regional headquarters of the Italian public broadcaster RAI, where the Slovenian MPs addressed certain issues with regards to frequencies and radio audibility.
Last February, it was 15 years since Italy passed a law that protects Slovenians in Italy, who live in Friuli-Venezia Giulia's provinces of Trieste, Gorizia and Udine and in the Kanal Valley. According to the Slovenian Office for Slovenians Abroad, the Slovenian minority is estimated to number between 70,000 and 80,000. (Source: STA)