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Winter University 2018 • Jasná

Rekapitulácia tohtoročnej Zimnej Univerzity Inštitútu Mateja Bela v anglickom jazyku.

In co-operation with the Hanns Seidel Stiftung the Mathias Bel Institute organized a Winter University for the first time for Young politicians and debaters. The five day-trip included two days of intensive training and debate, so the second part of the weekend was about winter sports. The 25 people guest list filled up so fast, we did not get any chance to invite any other interesting people. The next years University is already booked too.

DAY 1: Cultural Self-determination in the Slovak Republic

Keynote speaker: Konrád Rigó – State Secretary for Culture

The first Topic tackled the challenges in the Minority-Majority question, especially through the Cultural independence of several national minorities living in Slovakia. The keynote speech was performed by the state secretary of Culture, Konrád Rigó. After the introduction to the problem, the group was separated into small working groups. Three of the groups had to create a functional financing system for the Minority Cultural Fund and simulate a meeting between the board and the representatives of the minorities. The other three groups had to find the exact laws and bills which should be changed or updated due to the precise effectivity of the Cultural Fund. After the working groups were done all of them had to make a presentation with a conclusion, which were evaluated by Rigó.

DAY 2: The Instanbul Convention and the „DRUG LAW“

Keynote speaker: Adam Nochta – creative director, Istep Communications

The original and planned Topic was fight against extremism, but government commissioner for Roma Issues Ábel Ravasz could not join our University due to illness. The last minute change was although successful and the Topic was very popular amongst the participants. We invited Adam Nochta, a communication and political advertisement-guru who opened two Topics during his keynote speech. The participants separated into two working groups, the first discussed the Instanbul Convention and the second the so called “Drug-Law”, which was about possible decriminalization of some drugs in the Slovak Republic.

Both topics are connected to now-former Minister of Justice, Lucia Žitňanská. The six-hour debate was very tense and we had such a quality time. The “Instanbul Group” had to discuss every point of the Convention, and simulate a pro-contra discussion with a voting at the end of the session. The second group were separated into four mini-groups. Every group had a different opinion, the first wanted to legalize every drug on the list of the bill, the second was just for legalizing marijuana, the third was for decriminalization and the fourth was against every allowances. Adam pushed all the opinions against each other and it resulted a great and meaningful debate about the problems we have to tackle nowadays.

Next year`s first co-op program with the HSS will be the second season of the Winter University, without a doubt. We would like to thank all the participant for joining us, the HSS team, the Chata Koliesko staff and the two Keynote Speakers. See You next Year.

Peter Morvay

Executive Director of the Matthias Bel Institute

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