The Slovenia Times

Slovenia to take in 126 migrants a year under new EU deal

Migrants. Photo: Tanjug/STA

Slovenia would have to take in 126 migrants a year under the agreement on the overhaul of the EU's asylum and migration system. Interior Minister Boštjan Poklukar believes such a number is perfectly acceptable in terms of the country's capacities.

The new EU Pact on Migration and Asylum, finalised by the EU Council and the European Parliament on 20 December, entails the relocation of 30,000 persons a year at the EU level, Poklukar explained on 21 December.

If Slovenia rejected a migrant, it would have to pay €22,000 per person a year or €2.8 million if took no migrants at all. On the other hand, a country is eligible for €10,000 a year in EU funds for each migrant, he said.

Poklukar finds the new pact to be a major step in shaping the EU migration and asylum policy. "It sends an important signal that the EU is capable of agreeing on common solutions in such a complex field."

The minister welcomed the comprehensive approach in the pact: from cooperation with third countries to external border checks and procedures within the EU.

Slovenia has been advocating cooperation with partner countries along the Western Balkan migration route for years.

The minister also underlined the importance of tackling the causes of emigration in the source countries.

"We are confident that solutions will contribute to reducing illegal migration within the EU and eliminate the reasons for internal border checks, which have been intensified in the recent period," said Poklukar.

The pact also entails a single and more effective asylum procedure at the EU level. "This will lower the pressure on the asylum and receiving systems of member states, while persons in need will get protection sooner."

Those who are not eligible for protection will be returned sooner too.

Poklukar welcomed that member states will be able to choose the way in which they would like to show solidarity with the EU countries overwhelmed by migrants. Apart from accepting migrants and making financial contributions, countries will also be able to send staff, technical equipment and similar.


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