10th extraordinary session of the Committee on Foreign Policy and 7th extraordinary session of the Committee on Culture
Miro Cerar, Minister of Foreign Affairs
National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia (Državni zbor Republike Slovenije)
Slovenian weekly Youth (Mladina) published on its front page, in March 2019, a cartoon which depicted the Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, giving the Nazi salute. The Hungarian Embassy to Slovenia immediately issued a protest note to the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministrstvo za zunanje zadeve). The Embassy claimed that the cover page violated the principle of freedom of the press and freedom of expression, and protested against its political irresponsibility. It also asked the ministry to prevent any similar incident in the future. Upon receipt of the note, the ministry issued a response to the embassy. On 24 April 2019, the Committee on Foreign Policy and the Committee on Culture gathered on a joint session to debate these developments. When explaining actions by the ministry, the Minister of Foreign Affairs made a reference to the EU Charter.
Quote: “Tako smo v odgovoru že naslednji dan, 26. marca 2019 jasno opozorili na dosledno spoštovanje načela svobode medijev in svobode izražanja, poudarili smo, da Ministrstvo za zunanje zadeve ne posega v uredniško politiko medijev, niti je ne ocenjuje in ta odgovor je jasno povedal, da je bila pravzaprav ta protestna nota neprimerna in nedopustna. Naj ob tem povem, da sta svoboda izražanja in svoboda medijev ne le naši ustavni kategoriji, torej zavarovani ustavni kategoriji, pač pa tudi temeljni vrednoti Evropske unije. 11. člen Listine o temeljnih pravicah izrecno določa pravico do svobode mnenja ter sprejemanja in širjena vesti ali idej, brez vmešavanja javnih organov in ne glede na državne meje.”
Translated quote: “Thus, in our reply, the very next day, on 26 March 2019, we clearly pointed to the strict observance of the principle of freedom of the media and freedom of expression; we stressed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs neither interfered with editorial policy of the media nor assessed it, and our response clearly stated that, in fact, this protest note was inappropriate and inadmissible. Let me also say that freedom of expression and freedom of the media are not only our constitutional categories, that is - protected constitutional categories, but also the fundamental values of the European Union. Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights explicitly establishes the right to freedom of opinion and to receive and impart information or ideas, without interference by public bodies and regardless of national borders.”