SLOVAKIA has a comparatively low number of foreign nationals living in its territory, with just over 25,500 foreigners currently legally residing in the country. The draft integration policy, discussed by the cabinet at its January 28 session, has deemed that efforts to integrate these foreigners into the country have been poor, the SITA newswire reported.

The draft policy identifies some of the key problems in this area: foreigners lack adequate information that would make integration easier, public offices have difficulty communicating with foreigners who do not speak Slovak and foreigners encounter prejudice, fear and stereotypes from Slovak citizens.

The document proposes to establish a special committee for the rights of foreigners living in Slovakia at the government’s Human Rights Council, the TASR newswire reported. The proposals also include specific steps such as creating standardised Slovak language courses and foreign language courses for Slovaks whose jobs involve interacting with foreigners.

According to the document, by June 30, 2013 most foreigners living in Slovakia will have come from neighbouring countries, with over 9,000 Czechs, 6,600 Hungarians, 6,400 Ukrainians, 5,900 Romanians, 4,800 Poles, and 3,700 Serbians. Other major groups include Russians, Vietnamese, Chinese, Koreans and Americans.

Slovak authorities received 57,403 asylum requests between 1993 and 2013, granting asylum only to 618 seekers, SITA reported.

Source: SITA, TASR

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.