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Pact on migration and asylum: We welcome the integrated approach in addressing migration

The political deal on migration and asylum that was reached after several years of negotiations marks an important step in the formulation of European Union's (EU) migration and asylum policy. It also sends a strong signal on EU's capacity to agree on a common solution in an area as complex as migration management.

In the public statement, following the agreement on the new pact on migration and asylum the Minister of the Interior Boštjan Poklukar said: "We welcome the fact that the pact addresses migration in an integrated way: it covers cooperation with third countries, border checks on the external EU borders and the procedures inside the EU territory. EU needs a new common migration policy, as this is the only way we can ensure efficient migration management." The situation in the regions that are strategically relevant for the EU has changed considerably since the last reform was adopted almost a decade ago, as well as the structure of migration flows.

EU needs a new common migration policy, as this is the only way we can ensure efficient migration management. Similarly, it will allow us to be effective in the prevention of smuggling of migrants, whom the criminal organisations are taking advantage of for profit, the Minister said.

One of the important aspects of the new pact is cooperation with partner countries, a topic that is important for Slovenia. The cooperation will reduce the number of arrivals to the EU, whereas the key importance lies in eliminating the underlying reasons for emigration from the countries of origin and third countries.

"We believe that the solutions will help reduce the irregular movements within the EU, and consequently lead to the cessation of reasons for the internal border controls in the European Union, which have recently been intensified. Effective management of EU's external borders will allow the member states to decide who enters their respective country. And that is essential," Minister Poklukar declared in the statement.

Screening procedures and diligent registration of all categories of persons (for example applicants for international and temporary protection, persons, who enter irregularly or are illegally staying on the EU territory, etc.) into the European Dactyloscopy system – Eurodac, will both contribute to better monitoring of migration flows and thus a higher level of EU's internal security.

The new pact also foresees EU-wide common and more efficient asylum procedure that we have been supporting throughout the negotiations. A mandatory border procedure is also foreseen in all the member states on the external border for the foreigners, who are arriving from a country with a low level of recognition of international protection, who are misleading the authorities or pose a threat to national security. This will disburden the asylum and reception systems in the member states, whereas the persons requiring international protection will be able to receive it sooner.

As the Minister underlined, "those, who are not entitled to international protection will quickly enter the procedure of return to the country of origin or transit. The pact foresees a system of returns on the EU level that is based on more efficient and humane procedures with the full respect of the principle of non-refoulement and the fundamental rights principles."

The new pact also introduces the measures to prevent abuse of the asylum system and secondary movements, the second crucial goal of the new pact for Slovenia. The measures will simultaneously support the respect of human rights, especially for the vulnerable groups. International and non-governmental organisations will be able to be present in screening and border procedures, in order to monitor the thorough respect of the aforementioned rights. The new legislative framework also introduces a mandatory but flexible solidarity towards the member states most burdened with migration. The entire solidarity concept is based on European values and mutual support among the member states. It is also based on the assumption that the additional activities of the countries on the external EU borders will limit the secondary movements inside the EU. This also means that the pressure on the asylum system due to irregular migration will be lower.

It is important that each contributing member state will be able to decide on the type of solidarity it wishes to provide: through relocation, or financial or alternative contributions (deployment of personnel, assistance in technical equipment). "We welcome this form of flexible solidarity. We have been advocating for a wide range of measures, which would give member states a number of options. Allow me to give an example of what this implies for Slovenia in numbers: the minimum annual number of 30,000.00 relocations on the EU level was proposed in the negotiations. Through the distribution key, 126 persons would be relocated 126 to Slovenia. This number does not pose an excessive burden for the Republic of Slovenia' asylum system." Poklukar explained. 

Member states will receive 10,000 EUR from the European funds for each relocated person. In line with the International Protection Act, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia must adopt a decision on Slovenia's contribution in the relocation project. If a member state should decide against relocations, it has to contribute 22,000 EUR per person (in Slovenia's case approximately 2.8 million EUR annually). 

Slovenia is a solidary country: "Here, I would like to stress Slovenian solidarity, which has often been demonstrated in the form of relocations and resettlements. Only last week, four Syrian families and one person were relocated to Slovenia. They were selected and received from Turkey in the framework of the permanent resettlement project. Permanent resettlement is a way of facilitating legal movements to Europe for persons, who require protection," the Minister said.

Poklukar also highlighted the Crisis Regulation. The EU as well as the member states will be able to quickly respond to crisis situations, such as mass arrivals, instrumentalisation of migrants (i.e., manipulating migrant movements to create political pressure on a member state) or in the event of a force majeure (a pandemic). The new pact lays down special rules for such events, or derogations from the regular procedures and a separate solidarity mechanism.

Minister Boštjan Poklukar stands behind a grey lectern, behind him is a blue wall with the Ministry's logos, and in the right-hand corner is a part of the Slovenian flag.

Minister Boštjan Poklukar makes a press statement on the political deal on the Pact on Migration and Asylum | Author Ministrstvo za notranje zadeve


The Council of the EU and the European Parliament reached a political agreement on the key proposals, which form the new pact on migration and asylum at a trialogue in Brussels on 20 December 2023.

After years of negotiations, this agreement is an important step in shaping EU's migration and asylum policy.

Following the political agreement, work will continue at technical level under the upcoming Belgian presidency of the Council of the EU on concrete texts of the legislative proposals. This is to be followed by the official adoption, i.e., a vote in the European Parliament and the Council of the EU (by February 2024 because of the upcoming spring 2024 European elections).