The Peace Institute Annual Report 2019

The Peace Institute Annual Report 2019

In Slovenia, like in other European countries, we are witnessing organised attacks on democracy and solidarity by exclusionary and nationalist politics. Among targets are also non-governmental organisations, which are portrayed by right-wing populists as parasites and enemies of the nation, along with migrants, LGBTQ community, Roma, Muslims, the poor and other minorities. For the Peace Institute, such attacks are nothing new, as we have been target of threats since we were founded almost 30 years ago that we should be closed down. However, because the malicious propaganda of some media and political parties against us does not cease, especially regarding financing, we are under obligation to highlight the following facts.

    Facts: 1. All the funds for our activities are obtained through public calls for proposals in competition with the best research institutions, universities and non-governmental organisations from Slovenia and Europe. 2. We operate in the public interest and allocate the proceeds exclusively for the implementation of approved projects. 3. The principal goal of our operation and implementation of projects is to ensure equality in society, regardless of individual’s political beliefs, family origin, sexual orientation, health status or gender.

Last year, the Institute managed 37 different projects, which is comparable to the previous year. In the politics field, we launched two basic research projects that will broaden our understanding of political breakthroughs in the post-democracy era: Political and Media Populism: The Refugee “Crisis” in Slovenia and Austria (lead by Mojca Pajnik) and The Break in Tradition: Letno porocilo 2019-Mirovni institut ANGHannah Arendt and Conceptual Change (lead by Vlasta Jalušič). In the human rights field, we initiated the implementation of projects that will contribute to the elimination of discrimination in society: Migrant Children and Communities in a Transforming Europe (lead at the Peace Institute by Vlasta Jalušič), Reducing and Eliminating Discrimination Based on ethnicity, “Race”, Nationality and/or Religion (lead by Veronika Bajt) and Human Rights Guide (lead at the Peace Institute by Iztok Šori). In the media field, we implemented The Study on Sustainability of Professional Journalism in Media Business Environment in the Western Balkans (lead by Brankica Petković) to continue our efforts to develop democratic media systems in the region. In the gender field, we began to participate in a basic research project Military Specific Risk and Protective Factors for Military Family Health Outcomess (lead at the Peace Institute by Živa Humer) to build on our efforts for equality in the area of families and family policy. In 2019, we also conducted educational activities in Slovenian primary and secondary schools, for legal professionals and other publics. Within the project Equality – Solidarity – Sameness (lead by Lana Zdravković), we organised workshops on migrations and within the project Play It for Change (lead at the Peace Institute by Živa Humer) we recorded two music videos with secondary school students about equality. We have also acquired several other projects, which will be launched in 2020 and will address, inter alia, hate speech in the Western Balkans and the transposition of the Paternity Leave Directive into Slovenian legal system.

Most of our projects (20) were (co)financed by the European Commission, which provided 39% of the Institute’s total revenue over the past year. The second-largest funder was the Slovenian Research Agency (10 projects) with a 33% share of our revenues. The rest is provided through the sale of services in the domestic and foreign markets, primarily through the production of studies. With the exception of the European Commission, the international funders included the Civitates, Liberties and Open Society Foundation. Other funders from Slovenia were the Ministry of Public Administration, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government Communication Office, the Ombudsman of the Republic of Slovenia, and the Advocate of the Principle of Equality. We are particularly pleased that in 2019 we regained institutional funding from the Open Society Foundation, and after many years of efforts and also litigation, the funding of our research programme Equality and Human Rights in the Age of Global Governance (lead by Mojca Pajnik).

At the Peace Institute, we are committed to building democratic relations and striving for horizontal forms of action within society and within our organisation. You can read annual report here.

Last year was also very fruitful in the field of scientific production. We published 15 original scientific articles, 18 contributions in monographs and 1 scientific monograph. Our associate Marko Ribać received the Faculty of Social Sciences Award for the best doctoral dissertation (mentor Mojca Pajnik). The Institute as a whole was a recipient of special recognition from the Slovenian Sociological Association for important scientific achievements and promotion of sociology in Slovenia. So let me conclude this introduction with the words of the Vice President of the Association prof. dr. Roman Kuhar, at the award ceremony: “The Peace Institute, because of the issues it addresses, is often a thorn in the flash, a guilty conscious of the society, but that is why it is vital, successful and necessary.” The Peace Institute staff are committed to remaining so in 2020.

Iztok Šori
Director of Peace insitute