SLOVAKIA may not be as dependent on immigrants as certain older EU-member countries, where a freeze on immigration would reduce the overall population by tens of millions by 2060, but it is certain that immigrants will play an important role in Slovakia in the future, mainly when it comes to the workforce, Martina Lubyová from the Slovak Academy of Sciences' (SAV) Prognostics Institute, told the TASR newswire.
Currently Slovakia is not a destination for asylum seekers or labour migrants, who pay taxes and contribute towards the payroll-deduction system.
"Slovakia is still a transit country, with migrants mainly only passing through Slovakia to reach other countries, where they can find ethnic enclaves and opportunities for higher incomes," said Lubyova, as quoted by TASR. She added that, for instance, scientists and researchers in Slovakia are poorly paid, so Slovaks themselves tend to migrate abroad; and foreign migrants, if they were to decide between Slovakia and Austria, would give preference to Austria, which is only a few kilometres away but provides better economic possibilities.
Several strategic documents drawn up by government institutions mention support for legal migration of qualified experts, including Slovakia's Migration Policy Outlook for 2020 and the Foreigners' Integration Concept. Yet, according to Michal Jurči from the Labour Ministry's press department, Slovakia is currently not carrying out any specific steps aimed at attracting qualified experts from other countries.
"Nevertheless, according to available data from the Labour, Social Affairs and the Family Centre (ÚPSVaR), people with higher qualifications prevail among immigrants," said Jurči, as quoted by TASR.
According to the ÚPSVaR statistics, 2,623 work permits were issued to qualified migrants in 2012.
Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
2. Dec 2013 at 14:00