Conversation with the mayor: “Črnomelj is the cradle of Slovenia!”

More than two years ago, a new wind, momentum and energy started in the Municipality of Črnomelj.

From commercial waters (for many years he was the director of Zavarovalnica Tilia in Novo mesto) he was elected mayor Andrej Kavšek. As he says, the work of the mayor is interesting, but at the same time very responsible. In the same breath, he emphasizes that his main task is to connect as many people as possible – citizens, decision-makers, businessmen, colleagues in the Municipality of Črnomelj and others for a better life and living conditions of all citizens of Črnomelj. On the occasion of an important commemoration, the municipal holiday of the municipality of Črnomelj, which will take place on 19 February, we had a short conversation with him and his colleagues from the Institute for Education and Culture in Črnomelj.

Mr. Kavšek, the corona year 2020 is behind us. How did you manage to stem the pandemic in the municipality of Črnomelj?

Above all, we tried to limit it and reduce its impact on our daily lives. The Civil Protection Headquarters gathered in Črnomelj last year on February 26, when we had not even thought about a covid in Slovenia. At that time, the headquarters had already accepted the first activities, so we did not have any major problems with the first wave of covids. We also bought all the equipment on time. The second phase of the epidemic affected us a little more. However, we managed to protect two key institutions, namely the home for the elderly and the health center. There were no problems, as they adhered to all the necessary measures, which also indicates good organization.

Did you have to change the budget for 2020 because of the pandemic?

No. All the investments that we emphasize all the time, such as school, kindergarten, sewerage, we drive forward as we have always. Maybe some project has shifted in time. But that’s only because we had people on the other side who got sick from time to time, or were there any other limitations. But that’s not an excuse, that’s a fact – in Coronian times, business had to be a little different.

Tourist vouchers brought many Slovenes to your municipality, some for the first time. Črnomelj was full of Slovenes, which probably contributed to the recognition of your tourism. Do you think it will be like that again in the summer?

I reckon we signed up for the tourist map. There were a lot of tourists, in fact once more than in previous years. After how many people will return to Črnomelj, the performance of the previous year will be measured. I believe people were happy. I wish that such a season would be repeated and that it would make it easier for the caterers to flourish again.

What are your plans for 2021, how ambitious is this year’s budget?

The budget was adopted unanimously. We are now in this investment cycle, where we will have to make primary decisions for the good of the municipality. Kindergarten, school, sewage, water are the primary things that a municipality must provide to its citizens. Of course, there are desires for tourist infrastructure, but it all starts and ends with money. We will also go into this area of ​​tourism investment, but we have to wait now.

How come you managed to put together a record budget?

In total, we have planned for about 20 million euros in revenue, a lot of funds are tied to investments. The key investments are mainly school, kindergarten, sewerage Črnomelj is a trillion investment, of which two million are European funds. The kindergarten will be managed by us, then we have a bicycle connection, where the value of the project is 900,000 euros, of which 500,000 euros are from European funds. If we did not have these funds, we would not be able to invest them ourselves.

The holiday of the municipality of Črnomelj is a very important story, important for the whole of Slovenia, isn’t it?

It is true, because Črnomelj is practically the cradle of Slovenia. The holiday is important for the municipality of Črnomelj and for the history of Slovenian statehood. Precisely because it’s so important, I’m critical of the state because they don’t emphasize it. This is a very important day that we always celebrate with a celebration, and I would expect a little more attention from the country until this historic date.


Nastasja Schweiger, Head of the Cultural Program of the Institute for Education and Culture Črnomelj (ZIK)


Nastasja Schweiger

The Črnomelj Cultural Holiday is celebrated on the day when the historical session of the Slovenian National Liberation Council was held at the Črnomelj Cultural Center on 19 and 20 February 1944. Bela krajina was the first liberated territory in Slovenia during the Second World War, and that is exactly why the foundations of the Slovenian state were laid at our session. Thus, they established various institutions, institutes, sections, which then, as today, ministries regulated various areas of public life. Great emphasis was also placed on culture in the liberated territory. In the municipality of Črnomelj, the Slovene cultural holiday, 8 February, was thus determined, and the first celebration ever took place in 1945 in the Črnomelj cultural center. More than a hundred national artists worked here, and the first Slovenian National Theater, which staged the first performance right after the SNOS session, also started operating in the cultural center. We will also present all this at the new experiential and interactive exhibition Homeland is Culture in the premises of the mentioned building, which is co-financed by the Municipality of Črnomelj.

On the holiday, there is a celebration in the cultural center, which is a cultural monument of national importance due to the mentioned events, which will be held in e-form this year due to the epidemic. Like every year, we will present artists and cultural figures who worked in Črnomelj. This year they will Vitomil Zupan, Božidar Jakac, Matej Bor and others. The e-event will be available for viewing on 19 February 2021 at 8 pm on the YouTube channel of the Municipality of Črnomelj or on the TV channel Vaš kanal.

Nada Žagar, director of the Institute for Education and Culture (ZIK)

Nada Žagar


Nada Žagar

Apart from the People’s University, the Črnomelj Cultural Center is one of the two units of the Črnomelj Institute for Education and Culture. The seat of the public institution is precisely this monumental building, which has been declared a cultural monument of national importance since 1999. The People’s University, which also operated in the home, moved to another location in 2017, which is important for understanding the role and importance of a cultural home that no longer hosts adult education but focuses on developing cultural programs. Until 1999, the Cultural Center had problems with ownership and was in the process of denationalisation. In the event that he was not legally protected, the Sports Union of Slovenia, which declared itself the legal successor of the Falcons, would receive it in full. The owner of the building is the Ministry of Culture, which undertook a contract for the management of a comprehensive renovation project in 2018. We expect to receive the project this year, and the start of a thorough renovation in the coming years. Nevertheless, in the last five years, the ministry has taken care of the preservation of the cultural monument (prevention of flooding and fire risk, lobby restaurant), for which it has allocated more than 260,000 euros. Despite the much-needed renovation, the Cultural Center is a municipal pride and one of the most beautiful buildings in the environment.

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