Hojs discusses migration, Ukraine in Denmark

Copenhagen – Interior Minister Aleš Hojs visited Copenhagen on Thursday to discuss the current migration situation with Danish Minister for Immigration and Integration Mattias Tesfaye. The pair also condemned the Russian aggression against Ukraine and called for solidarity with Ukraine.

The EU’s swift and united response was crucial in this situation, they agreed, and this is also reflected in the bloc’s unity in welcoming refugees from Ukraine, the Interior Ministry said.

On 4 March, the Council of the EU took a decision to activate the temporary protection scheme for displaced persons from Ukraine. Hojs recalled that, in line with this decision, the Slovenian government decided on 9 March to introduce this measure in Slovenia.

He said that Slovenia had so far received around 6,500 applications for temporary protection, and it was preparing for an increase in refugee arrivals and strengthening its capacity accordingly. Similar activities are being carried out in Denmark, where around 10,000 applications for temporary protection have already been received.

Despite Denmark’s special status as an opt-out country, Slovenia and Denmark share similar positions on certain issues regarding the EU’s migration and asylum pact, and the two ministers have discussed this as well.

The two countries are therefore working to strengthen the role of the external dimension of migration and to tackle the root causes of migration. Cooperation with partner countries of origin and transit is crucial in this respect to reduce illegal migration and prevent human trafficking or migrant smuggling.

Denmark and Slovenia also pay special attention to efforts to make return more effective.

Hojs and the Slovenian delegation that accompanied him learned about the Danish experience in voluntary return during a visit to Denmark’s Return Agency. The agency helps foreigners to organise their travel and obtain travel documents in the process of voluntary return, the ministry said in a press release.