Slovakia need immigrants, but only as 'guests', says interior minister

An influx of qualified workers from abroad should help the Slovak labour market as well as the social security system, according to a newly adopted government policy. "Management of economic migration has to firmly respond to the challenges of the global competition for talent, in particular by actively searching for them and creating conditions for their arrival to Slovakia," reads the draft Migration Policy until 2020 elaborated by the Interior Ministry, which the cabinet approved on Wednesday, August 31.

An influx of qualified workers from abroad should help the Slovak labour market as well as the social security system, according to a newly adopted government policy. "Management of economic migration has to firmly respond to the challenges of the global competition for talent, in particular by actively searching for them and creating conditions for their arrival to Slovakia," reads the draft Migration Policy until 2020 elaborated by the Interior Ministry, which the cabinet approved on Wednesday, August 31.

According to the document, as quoted by the SITA newswire, new foreign workers are required because of Slovakia's long-term negative demographic development. It concludes that the process of issuing visas and residence permits therefore needs to be accelerated and says this should be achieved by better coordination of the work of embassies and the Foreigners' Police with the use of ICT. The material further calls for defining precise rules for admitting qualified and highly qualified immigrants. Analyses of the needs of the national economy and the economic benefits of individual groups of economic migrants should be carried out regularly, and adoption of regulatory and control mechanisms to achieve the required balance should follow, the document states.

Interior Minister Daniel Lipšic (Christian Democratic Movement (KDH)) said he expects immigrants to fully integrate if they come to Slovakia, and that they should also speak Slovak. "The project of multiculturalism has failed. The condition of immigration must be full integration and acceptance of the culture and traditions of Slovakia," he said after the Wednesday meeting of the cabinet. "We welcome legal immigration but we will change neither our habits, nor our values and traditions and we expect immigrants to respect them," he said, emphasising that he perceives immigrants as guests. "However, they have to behave as guests," he remarked. Lipšic hopes that Slovakia can avoid what he said were the problems caused by second- or third-generation immigrants in some other European countries. The Interior Ministry said it would be unacceptable for immigrants to create their own parallel communities with what it called 'alternative rules'.

In the future, an Immigration and Naturalisation Authority should oversee the integration of immigrants. This will take over some of the current powers of the Foreigners' Police.

Source: SITA

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

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