3rd Slovene-Hungarian Annual Forum

On the 21st and 22nd of April 2015, under the auspice of the ambassadors of the two countries, Hungarian and Slovenian mayors, businessmen, experts of regional development and representatives of the academic sphere met in Szentgotthárd / Monošter in order to unfold the potentials of cooperation, to share their ideas with their neighbours and to find partners for concrete projects. The parties signing the Szentgotthárd / Monošter call have initiated a regular annual meeting where the cooperation between stakeholders of the neighbouring nations can be enhanced and enlarged.

The two embassies, the Municipality of Szentgotthárd, the Central European Service for Cross-border Initiatives and the eRegion.eu initiative organized the third Slovene-Hungarian Annual Forum on the 22nd and 23rd of May 2017 in Monošter.

This year, the key topic of the seminar was digital technology and its impact on the development of economy, education, tourism, silver economy and bilingualism as well as the cooperation on these fields.

In the first session of the forum, the participants were discussing the relationship between cultural tourism and digital technology. During the panel, it has become clear that the application of online communication channels for tourists are not important only before travelling, but the services available during travelling and the targeted communication after travelling also have a key role. Moreover, in order to create a smart destination, not only the introduction and the use of ICT technologies are needed; it is also essential to create an appropriate management background.

The first panel was followed by the official opening of the forum, in which Mr Gábor Huszár, mayor of Szentgotthárd; Mr László Kövér, speaker of the Hungarian Parliament; H.E. Ms. Ksenija Škrilec, Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia to Hungary, and H.E. Mrs. Edit Szilágyiné Bátorfi, Ambassador of Hungary to Slovenia greeted the participants, and expressed their commitment to the initiative.

After the official opening, the session was about the discussion on the relationship of bilingual education and digitalization, chaired by Ambassador H.E. Ms. Ksenija Škrilec. As an introduction to the topic, Iztok Kosem, project manager, presented the development process and the significance of the Slovenian-Hungarian digital dictionary. The participants unanimously welcomed the initiative, and defined their responsibility and duties towards maintaining and enhancing bilingualism by considering the cultural and economic aspects of the topic.

On the second day before noon, the main topics were digital governance and digital economy. Mr Boris Koprivnikar, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Administration of Slovenia presented the implementation process of the digital agenda, which clearly shows that Slovenia is a forerunner in switching to digital governance. Afterwards, Mr László Palkovics, State Secretary for Tertiary Education of the Ministry of Human Resources of Hungary talked about the Western Transdanubian traffic development project, allowing to use self-driving cars, will be implemented between 2017 and 2020. Besides, in this session the topics of smart cities and National University of Public Services project on digital governance were discussed.

The first session after lunch was dedicated to silver economy. In the panel, moderated by Ambassador H.E. Mrs. Edit Szilágyiné Bátorfi, the topics about the digital reform opportunities of pension insurance scheme’s administrative background; educational opportunities for the elderly; and such technological solutions which promote active aging were discussed. The forum ended with the session that presented the digitalisation process of agriculture, chaired by Mr Robert Kokalj, Director General of the Directorate for Economic and Public Diplomacy, MFA Republic of Slovenia. The participants of the panel were such Hungarian and Slovenian businesses which apply and offer progressive technological solutions, even at a European level, in certain agricultural subsectors.

At the end of the forum, both the participants and the organisers expressed their intention to continue this initiative that began two years ago.

Click here for detailed programme of the event and here for the presentations held in the forum.

The forum was financed by the Prime Minister's Office of Hungary.

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