Slovak citizens and residents who want to leave the country for more than 90 days will have to tell the state, on pain of punishment, after governing Smer party MPs passed an amendment to the Act on Reporting Citizens' Residencies on May 16. As of July 1, Slovak citizens or foreign citizens resident in Slovakia will be obliged, by law, to report to the relevant state authority in charge of permanent residency, prior to their departure, any absence of more than 90 days. Anyone who fails to notify the authorities will be guilty of an offence and may face a penalty.
The new obligation was criticised by Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) MP Peter Osuský, who tried unsuccessfully to have it removed from the draft law via an amending proposal. Osuský said, as quoted by the TASR newswire, that it interferes with people's right to free movement and privacy. Such rights are, in theory, guaranteed by European law. He went on to argue that there should be no need for a citizen to report their whereabouts unless they intended to cancel their permanent residency in Slovakia.
Interior Minister and ruling Smer party nominee Robert Kaliňák, whose ministry drafted the legislation, said the state needs to possess up-to-date information on its citizens. As an example of how this information would be used he cited the need to deliver court correspondence. The law envisages the creation of a new government database that will log the movements, residency status and whereabouts of every Slovak citizen and resident of Slovakia.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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