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Migrant Integration Governance in Slovenia

Slovenia started receiving immigrants from other ex-Yugoslavian territories after its independence in 1991. These immigrants often had family and friends living in the country, as well as languages, cultures and social structures similar to those in Slovenia. This facilitated their integration. Since it joined the European Union in 2004, an increasing number of other non-EU nationals have settled in the country. The arrival asylum seekers from the Middle East in 2015 further accentuated this trend.

Statistics

Foreign population in SloveniaOn 1 January 2017, 110 849 Third Country Nationals (TCNs) were living in Slovenia. They represented 5% of the total population, according to the national Statistical Office.

Most came from ex-Yugoslavian states Bosnia and Herzegovina (58 355), Kosovo (16 580) and Serbia (13 088). 34 815 had valid temporary residence permits and 76 034 were permanent residents.

In 2016, out of the 39 748 permits issued, 18 256 were for work, 6 405 for family reunification and 2 564 for studies.

No aggregated data on Slovenian citizens with third country background are made available.

Integration Strategy

No public document detailing the Slovenian integration strategy has been published so far. However some orientations were defined in the Resolution on immigration policy of 1999 and the government briefly describes its integration policy on the Ministry of Interior’s website. Its objectives are based EU’s Common basic Principles, putting emphasis on the two-way dynamic of integration. Slovenia therefore encourages interactions between different cultures and national identities; promotes tolerant and respectful attitude towards cultural differences and raises awareness on the importance of intercultural dialogue.

Integration Programme

Slovenia introduced its first and current Integration Programme called Initial Integration of Immigrants in 2008. The programme focuses on the Slovene history, culture and constitution, and includes a mutual introduction course between foreigners and Slovene citizens.

☑ language courses

☑ civic education

☒ vocational training

The free and optional programme targets both migrants and beneficiaries of international protection. Newcomers can follow 180, 120 and 60 hour courses depending on the type of permit they hold and the duration of stay before registering to the programme. Classes are taught by a variety of institutions which  are selected through a call for tender for contract duration of generally 2 years.

Evaluation

No official evaluation of Slovenia’s integration programme nor of the situation of foreign residents in the country has so far been published.

Legislation

☑   Foreigners Law

The Foreigners Law adopted in 2011 was last amended in 2017 to restrict foreigners' entry and stay to the country.

☑   Asylum Law

The first Slovenian Asylum Law was adopted in 1999 and repealed in 2008. The new Law on International protection which entered into force in 2016 mainly aligns the Slovenian legislation with the EU asylum legislation (including Dublin regulations), making rules stricter than before. 

☒   Integration Law

Slovenia does not have a self-standing integration law for all migrant groups. There are however regulations on the modalities and conditions for ensuring the rights of applicants and beneficiaries of international protection.

☑   Nationality Law

The 1991 Citizenship Law has often been amended. The 2017 changes made it possible for applicants who have made an exceptional contribution to the development, reputation or visibility of the Republic of Slovenia to acquire citizenship, even when they do not fulfill the conditions of uninterrupted residence.

☑   Anti-discrimination

Slovenia’s first Anti-discrimination law was only adopted in 2016 and no changes have been introduced so far. The Protection Against Discrimination Act defines the protection of every individual against discrimination irrespective of their gender, nationality, race or ethnic origin, language, religion or belief, disability, age, sexual orientation, social status, education level or any other personal circumstance in their exercise of human rights, fundamental freedoms, and rights and obligations.

Public authorities

The Directorate for Administrative Internal Affairs, Migration and Naturalisation within the Ministry of the Interior currently leads on the governance of integration issues. It is also Slovenia's representative at the European Integration Network. However, the Government established an Office for the Support and Integration of Migrants - Urad vlade za oskrbo in integracijo migrantov - in May 2017 for which a Director was elected in September 2017. The Office ensures the reception and integration of refugees as well as provides basic integration support to other migrants. It also coordinates the work of relevant state bodies, NGOs and international organisations in the area of integration.

On the regional and local level, the role of municipalities in the integration of foreign citizens is quite unclear and limited to housing and school education.

Civil society

The Council for the integration of foreigners – Svet za vključevanje tujcev – is the national consultative body that makes recommendations on national programmes related to the integration of immigrants, monitors the implementation of integration measures and participates in the preparation of laws and other regulations that affect immigrants. There are 3 elected foreign citizens (one to represent citizens of EU Member States, one for former Yugoslavia and one for all other third countries) and 1 non-governmental organisation (Slovene Philanthropy) among its members.

Funding

Non-profit organisations and local authorities can apply for financing through the EU’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF). Coordinated by the Ministry of Interior, the national allocation for Slovenia under AMIF is € 5 166 230 00. 22% of this amount is allocated to asylum and 35% to legal migration and integration. Slovenian AMIF programme

No other public of private funds are available to finance integration

Other stakeholders

☑   Providing integration services

  • Cene Štupar – CILJ
  • Andragoški zavod Maribor – Ljudska univerza
  • Ljudska univerza Celje
  • Ljudska univerza Škofja Loka
  • Veris d.o.o.
  • Andragoški zavod
  • Ljudska univerza Velenje
  • Ljudska univerza Ajdovščina
  • Center za izobraževanje in kulturo Trebnje
  • Univerza v Ljubljani Filozofska fakulteta
  • Andragoški zavod Ljubljana

☑   Implementing Integration Programme

☑   Campaigning

  • Slovenska filantropija
  • Humanitas
  • Amnesty international
  • Zavod Global
  • Inštitut za afriške študije
  • Mirovni institute
  • SLOGA
  • OVCA
  • Up-Jesenice
  • Delavska svetovalnica
  • Trade Unions (office for migrants)

 Publishing statistics