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Slovakia adopts new migration policy (Unofficial translation)

On 8 September 2021 the government in Slovakia adopted a new important strategic document related to migration and integration, the Migration Policy of the Slovak Republic: Perspective until the Year 2025. This new policy replaces the previous Migration Policy of the Slovak Republic: Perspective until the Year 2020, and has increased focus on the field of migrant integration.

The new policy defines as its main goal the creation of conditions for legal migration in keeping with the country's other priorities and its capacity to both receive foreigners and support their integration. It emphasises the need for well-managed labour migration in order to prevent social, economic and environmental tensions. It also specifies a need to prioritise the security of Slovakia and the rights of its inhabitants (both nationals and legal migrants).

In terms of international protection, the new migration policy reaffirms the country's commitment to protecting those most in need, as well as to preventing abuse of the asylum system. The effectiveness of the country's return policies is also touched upon.

The issue of migrant integration forms a substantial component of the new policy: the outlined strategy aims to ensure long-term, seamless coexistence between the country's majority and migrant populations, and to avoid negative social patterns. Additionally, it aims to strengthen and expand opportunities for the funding of migrant integration measures, including through the more varied use of systemic funding, EU funds and other extra-budgetary financial sources.

One of the highest priority needs identified within the new policy is the need for strengthened integration of international protection holders at the local level. This would include ensuring the availability of high-quality education for migrant children and the continued provision of Slovak language classes for migrants, as well as access to decent housing and social and cultural support.

The policy also defines communication of migration as an important dimension that must accompany other measures of the policy, due to its far-reaching consequences on the society.