Govt says Slovenia complies with directive on non-EU citizens and property

Ljubljana – The government has adopted a response to the European Commission’s warning that Slovenia does not comply with a directive on the status of non-EU citizens who are long-term residents and their right to buy property. The government argues the Slovenian law is not in breach of the directive as it allows this group to rent housing.

Slovenia was warned on 9 June that its legislation sets a number of conditions to this group of foreign citizens to become eligible to buy property.

The Commission admitted that EU member states have discretion to set such conditions for the purpose of integration, but they must be proportionate.

It said that the directive does not allow detouring from the principle of equal treatment on the basis of these conditions.

In its response, the government says that the directive does not oblige a member state to allow these nationals the right to become property owners.

The government maintains that an EU country meets the requirements from the directive by allowing the non-EU citizens with long-term residence status to rent housing.

The directive does not oblige the country to guarantee them the right to buy property unconditionally, that is under the same conditions as EU nationals.

The government adopted the response, which was prepared by the Justice Ministry, at its correspondence session on Friday.