The new migration policy will be based on solidarity, inclusion and respect for human rights
Today, the Ministry of the Interior held the first meeting of the Consultative Body on Migration, which was entitled 'A Safe, Solidarity-based and Inclusive Society'. It was attended by representatives of state authorities, NGOs, international organisations and civil society working in the area of migration.
The Minister of the Interior, Tatjana Bobnar, who chaired the meeting, outlined the purpose of the consultative body, which was to draw up a comprehensive migration strategy based on the principles of solidarity, inclusion and respect for human rights.
"Migration policies in recent times have been mostly formulated as a response to crises and reduced to security policies," said Minister Bobnar, adding that "there is crisis management in most countries instead of stable and consistent policies." Slovenia aims to change this paradigm with the newly established consultative body. "We have enough knowledge. Concerted action of all stakeholders and especially respectful and sincere communication will help us change the current approach and develop a comprehensive migration policy focused on human beings and their dignity", stressed the Minister and outlined the way the consultative body works.
As a coordinator of the group, the Ministry of the Interior will promote safe, well-managed and regular migration. Minister Bobnar said: "Together, we will introduce a new approach to migration and asylum, and amend legislation to take into account, as far as possible, the recommendations of monitoring institutions, in particular the Ombudsman." The framework for action is set by the coalition agreement, in which the government committed to withdrawing the fence on the border with Croatia, sectoral legislation, EU and human rights law, and the participation of interested public, explained the Minister.
The consultative body will be based on three pillars: dialogue with civil society, upgrading the strategy of comprehensive migration management, and the reform of relevant legislation. The groups working within the body will be chaired by Dr Simona Zavratnik, State Secretary Dr Branko Lobnikar and Dr Polona Mozetič from the Minister's Office. They will include the participants of today's meeting and will promote safer migration routes, more efficient asylum and residence permit procedures, facilitation of international protection requirements, and systematic integration into society. The consultative body will also focus on transparent communication in public relations, cooperation with local communities and citizens, and research.
The participants had an open and lively discussion. They supported the initiative, the vision and especially their involvement in discussions on a comprehensive migration policy. They pointed out some critical issues such as dealing with vulnerable people, unaccompanied minors and victims of human trafficking. They highlighted the importance of integrating foreigners into the labour market and of amending legislation as soon as possible, and have already made some concrete proposals. The return agreement between Slovenia and Croatia was mentioned to be discussed in future meetings. The Minister touched upon the new guidelines for the police, according to which the police have to record in border procedures that a person has been informed of their rights under the International Protection Act and the EU law.
In conclusion, Bobnar stressed: "The Ministry welcomes all good solutions. From now on, we are working as a team capable of a respectful and open dialogue."