IN MID February Slovakia’s then interior minister Daniel Lipšic and his Austrian counterpart Johanna Mikl-Leitner sealed a new readmission agreement as part of an effort to prevent illegal immigration and ensure cooperation between the Slovak and Austrian authorities in this area, the SITA newswire reported.
“This agreement is crucial for Austria because of the constantly increasing number of asylum applicants,” said the Austrian minister, as quoted by SITA.
She specified that some 14,500 people applied for asylum in Austria last year, representing an increase of about 31 percent compared with 2010.
She added that even though illegal migration cannot be prevented completely, she hoped readmission – the return of illegal immigrants to their country of origin or transit – would be made simpler thanks to the agreement, which was signed in Bratislava.
Mikl-Leitner also praised Slovakia’s stance in the process of establishing a database for information on human trafficking and cooperation between Austrian and Slovak police, particularly at the Jarovce-Kittsee crossing.