Member of the Month: Zavod14

During the last Autumn General Assembly, Zavod14 has become an affiliate member of the European Liberal Forum. Could you tell us more about your organisation? 

Zavod 14 has been established in October 2013 as a response to difficult political, economic and social circumstances in Slovenia due to financial/economic crisis. In fact, Zavod 14 has been one of the important stages of development of a small group of academic professionals who gather around dr. Miro Cerar and who later founded the SMC, for almost three year now the leading political party in the country. Soon after the conception of Zavod 14, and later after the conception of the party, it was clear that ideological platform of the newly established political option will be Liberal. This necessity was obvious because of absence or severe weakness of other Liberal forces in the country, even more so when the Parliament and the Government began with their work. Immediately after the party took the leading political positions in 2014, Zavod 14 resumed its work, this time mainly as policy support and capacity building support for the SMC Parliamentary Group and as a promoter of social Liberal ideas in the Slovenian society.

 

You will co-host a Ralf Dahrendorf Roundtable at the fringes of the ALDE Council in Ljubljana on the topic of “Democracy and Citizenship in the Digital Age”. What are your expectations of this gathering?

Honestly, we are extremely delighted that this year ALDE Council Meeting will take place in Ljubljana, Slovenia. As usually, this meeting offers a great opportunity for discussions and networking for European liberals. Moreover, it will be also great opportunity for representatives and friends of ALDE party to learn how social Liberal values have been promoted in Slovenia by SMC and by Zavod 14, recently. We are also very honoured that Zavod 14 has an opportunity as affiliated ELF member to co-organize Ralf Dahrendorf Roundtable on the topic of “Democracy and Citizenship in the Digital Age”. We believe that the digital age is bringing many challenges for civic, civil and youth engagement in political interest and activities. Accordingly, Zavod 14 invited Mr. Boris Koprivnikar, Minister for Public Administration, to be a distinguished guest of the event, as he is also a great supporter of European Single Digital Market and has recently implemented a number of important measures to improve digital development of Slovenia. We believe that the roundtable will highlight key challenges of using modern technologies and communication methods in the future of politics, public participation and democracy, and how Liberals should adapt to the new digital era in order to effectively promote Liberal ideas in society.

 

The Liberals are in government in Slovenia, and Zavod14 is actively contributing to the political debate. How do your activities and expertise support Slovenian Liberals?

Zavod 14 supports Slovenian Liberals and promotes social Liberal ideas in various ways. We regularly organize meetings between civil initiatives, policy makers, business and professionals in forms of round tables and forums. We have carried out series of roundtable discussions titled “Challenges of Slovenia 2020” on different actual topics, such as sharing economy, reducing administrative burdens for SMEs, e-Health, digitalization of public sector, rationalization and restructuring of energy sector etc. Moreover, Zavod 14 also strongly supports Slovenian Liberals policy activities and goals with strong international connotation and development of Liberal policy solutions. In this respect, we have established fruitful cooperation with some other ELF full members, such as Novum (Slovenia), Fores (Sweden) and with Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) - Regional Office of Prague, with whom a few successful projects have been implemented, recently.

 

The call for project proposals for 2018 will be launched soon. What are your plans for 2018 projects? What would you like to work on?

We will continue to promote social liberal ideas, i.e. balancing between individual liberty and social justice, and to protect liberal values in our society and beyond. In particular, our focus remains on protection and promotion of human rights and freedoms of the individual, desiring to make possible for all citizens of Europe a decent life in a free society, believing that peace, freedom and prosperity in Europe can best be assured if the European Union stays strong and united. In this respect, we are planning to work on different topics, which are also especially interesting from Slovenian perspective in Europe, such as the future of EU Cohesion policy, challenges of New Economic Models and issues related to the European Digital Single Market. As there are scheduled regular parliamentary and local elections in Slovenia in 2018 and European Parliament election in 2019, capacity building for candidates, volunteers and, in particular, young people will also become an important pillar of our future activities.

30. May 2017 by Intern

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