EU Presidency Media Handbook: 200.000 Slovenians in 2100

The Slovenian EU Presidency is about to start and the official website has been launched. It comes along with a nicely designed and well prepared Media Handbook (PDF). But there is one element that should make us think (thanks Uroš for pointing it out), the welcome words by the Director of the Government Communication Office (UKOM). The

“Foreigners tell us that we are courageous, but fortune, as they say, favours the bold. We like to joke by saying that we are lucky primarily because we are the first to preside – and the reason is demographics. The most pessimistic projection of the Slovenian birth rate forecasts that there will be 200,000 fewer Slovenes during the next Slovenian presidency. Even now, questions of how – in terms of human resources – we will be able to pull off such an important project often seem to be imposing themselves. One cannot help wondering what questions will arise in the run-up to our eighth Presidency somewhere around the year 2100, when (according to projections), only some 200,000 Slovenes will be left.”

With even a short reflection this is strange. Even the Government was recently proudly announcing that the population of Slovenian has, for the first time, crossed 2 Million. According to Wikipedia the population grew from 1,964,036 in 2002 to 2,019,406 in 2007. This means that the trend is positive.

Getting numbers and statistics wrong is one thing, being socially ignorant is quite another. If the Director of UKOM meant those ethnically Slovenian the statement might be right, but this would exclude all other citizens of Slovenia of other ethnical origins. And this is what worries me: in an official leaflet distributed to numerous foreign journalists, the Director quotes numbers that ignore part of Slovenian citizens. I hope the next edition corrects the mistake, for sure it was unintentional.

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4 thoughts on “EU Presidency Media Handbook: 200.000 Slovenians in 2100

  1. I agree that this number must have been unintentional, but their ignorance of the facts is inexcusable. They would do well to cut this entire paragraph. The first sentence makes no sense at all….courageous and bold are pretty much the same thing!

  2. @ Luka: but that would be precisely the problem. In 2100 there will be many people (guessing from the trends in migration) living in Slovenia that might not be counted as Slovenian citizens (neither ethnically Slovenian) today, but their kids will clearly have Slovenian citizenship and kids themselves.

    The point is that only ethnically could the number of Slovenians decrease, not by citizenship. Even if, the government should certainly not discriminate among different groups of citizens and speculate.

  3. First of all, greetings for a very interesting blog!

    Nevertheless, such blunders need no comments about the capacity of the government´s appointee to make a sensible reflection about the demographics in Slovenia. The comment also disregards completely the recent Eurostat projections (2006) to which the Slovene statistical office largely contributed – and this projection goes certainly beyond the ethnical breakdown, unlike it appears from the abovementioned excerpt from the “promotional brochure” as pointed out by all of the discussants.

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