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Press Release

7.03.16

Message of the EU summit: the end of the Western Balkans route

On Monday, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia, Miro Cerar, attended the EU-Turkey Summit in Brussels on Monday, which sent a very clear message to all smugglers of refugees and migrants that the Western Balkans route was closed, he said in the early morning hours after the end of the meeting.

The EU and Turkey wanted to reach an agreement in principle which foresees Turkey accepting all irregular migrants that do not need international protection. In exchange, it can also count on additional financial assistance. In their joint statement, the EU leaders agreed that bold measures were needed to close down the routes used to smuggle people, protect external borders and end the migration crisis in Europe.

"Irregular flows of migrants along the Western Balkans route have now come to an end," the joint statement said. The end of the Western Balkan route means that all countries on it will deny entry to irregular migrants. From today or tomorrow, Slovenia will consistently apply the Schengen code and allow entry only to persons with appropriate documents, said the PM.

If a foreign citizen requesting asylum comes to Slovenia, the relevant procedures will begin in order to establish if they meet the conditions to be granted asylum, said the Slovenia PM. He said that the right to request or be granted asylum still according to the internationally applicable and European standards respected by Slovenia.

Cerar reiterated that in accordance with the European plan to relocate refugees within the EU, Slovenia would accept 567 refugees on the condition that it was a common EU action, that migration from the Western Balkans would be stopped effectively and that the country would not be burdened by transit of refugees.

Slovenia will gradually accept between 40 and 50 refugees per month, which is a manageable number. Our capacities enable this, and this also enables integration, said Cerar. In this respect, we should also consider if these people want to stay in Slovenia in the long term, said the PM.


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