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18 December is International Migrants Day

A number of landmark events have occurred in Slovenia in recent years in the area of migration, including the country's response to the pressure of the influx of migrants, implementation of measures to manage the influx of migrants effectively, and awareness of the importance of solidarity and the sharing of burdens among EU member states.

With regard to the last of these, Slovenia is implementing its commitments on the relocation of persons in need of international protection from other EU member states and making intense preparations for the implementation of commitments on the resettlement of persons from third countries.


Relocation and resettlement schemes are one of the key elements of EU arrangements for the better management of migrations and reflect the principles of responsibility and solidarity in practice. Slovenia is always ready to cooperate actively in joint actions in accordance with the principles of solidarity, taking into account its own capabilities.


Slovenia began relocation in May 2016, when the first group of applicants for international protection arrived in Slovenia from Italy and Greece. By 11 December 2017 it had relocated 232 applicants for international protection: 60 from Italy (59 Eritrean nationals and one Yemeni national) and 172 from Greece (149 Syrian nationals, 17 Iraqi nationals and six stateless persons). This represents 41% of those in need of relocation. Decisions had also been made on 213 applications for international protection. Refugee status was granted to 196 persons (138 Syrian nationals, 12 Iraqi nationals, 40 Eritrean nationals, six stateless persons), while subsidiary protection status was granted to ten Syrian nationals.


Up to the end of November 2017, a total of 1,320 persons had requested international protection in Slovenia, the majority of them citizens of Afghanistan, Algeria, Pakistan, Turkey and Syria. Men are the dominant group among applicants for international protection. International protection status was granted to 140 persons.


As at 30 November 2017, just over 80,000 citizens of third countries had permanent resident permits in Slovenia, while just over 43,000 citizens of third countries (above all Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia, Ukraine and the Russian Federation) had temporary residence permits. On the same date, residence permits issued to citizens of the European Economic Area amounted to just over 26,000 (with citizens of Croatia, Bulgaria, Italy, the United Kingdom and Germany accounting for the largest groups).


By the end of November 2017, almost 45,000 residence permits had been issued to citizens of third countries, with citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Kosovo accounting for the largest groups. Slightly under 8,500 residence permits had been issued to citizens of the European Economic Area, with citizens of Croatia, Bulgaria and Italy accounting for the largest groups.


An essential element of the migration system is the integration of immigrants into Slovenian society. Assistance in the integration of immigrants is assistance that equips immigrants with knowledge and skills and increases opportunities for equal participation in the host society, while at the same time giving a sense of belonging and acceptance. Slovenia has done a lot in this area in recent years at the systemic level. Of key importance among integration measures are free language learning programmes and programmes teaching about the host society for citizens of third countries, programmes for specific target groups of immigrants focusing on their special needs in terms of integration into society, intercultural dialogue programmes and programmes designed to raise the awareness of the general public about the importance of migrations as a factor that can stimulate development. These programmes are based on common guidelines and standards agreed among EU member states, which however are only agreed in outline form and are sufficiently flexible to allow the specificities of the Slovenian context to be taken into account.