Children and the youth represent the future of Slovenia and the world. For this reason, the National Council of the Republic of Slovenia as part of its activities related to the civil society pays particular attention precisely to its relationship with the young citizens of Slovenia. Such activities do not only include bringing the institution of the National Council closer to children and the youth. The National Council eagerly encourages the development of citizenship awareness and understanding of fundamental values of a democratic, just, and equal society, as this represents the core of coexistence in the Slovenian state. It also supports educating the youngest citizens about the Slovenian political system and including the youth in democratic decision-making processes, as the accessibility of such processes is key for the wellbeing of the entire society. With the attention the National Council awards to the young citizens, it aims to teach children and the youth already during their upbringing the importance of an active civil society and our joint responsibility for shaping a better future.
Picture book “The Toothless Tiger”, written by Igor Plohl and illustrated by Nataša Vertelj, was issued in July 2021 by the National Council of the Republic of Slovenia in co-publishing with Založba Pivec. The foreword was provided by the President of the National Council Alojz Kovšca.
Through a unique story about Svetin, the tiger, who tries to convince the three-headed dragon Ljubo to change his decision regarding the allocation of drinking water to certain animal species, the picture book illustrates in an imaginative way the process of repeated decision-making on legislation. Although Svetin, the tiger, does not successfully convince the three-headed dragon Ljubo to change his decision often, he nevertheless tries to take into account the arguments of all the different animal species and through a reasoned argument present them to Ljubo, the dragon, who rules the land at the foot of Mount Triglav. In a subtle way, the story not only presents to the young readers the functioning of the National Council and the National Assembly and their competences, but also explains the importance of recognizing differences to reach just and fair decisions.
The term “the toothless tiger”, which describes one who only appears to be dangerous, is often used to describe the National Council. Nevertheless, the National Council has, just like Svetin, the tiger, proven many times that reasoned argumentation and careful consideration of opinions of various stakeholders can convince the National Assembly to adopt a different and better decision. The topic of ensuring a sufficient amount of drinking water, which is the main thread of the story about Svetin, the toothless tiger, is especially important and demonstrates symbolically the efforts of the National Council that resulted in the constitutional protection of the right to drinking water.
The National Council hopes that all generations of young readers will get to know the story about Svetin, the toothless tiger. We believe that the story can not only teach them about the functioning of the National Council, but can through all of its important messages offer direction about individual action both in the early years and later.