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Slovenia Weekly

Slovenia is doing its best to fulfil its tasks as a member of the Schengen area

15.01.2016

Photo: Bundesregierung/Kugler
Along with the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, and the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister, Mehmet Şimşek, Slovenian Prime Minister was one of the keynote speakers at the introductory working dinner of Die Welt Economic Summit on Wednesday. A day later the PM met the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, mainly to discuss the migration issue in Europe. Since the beginning of the migration crisis, Slovenia and Germany have urged finding a joint European solution, reducing the influx of migrants, tighter control of the EU’s external borders and solidarity in sharing the burden among member states.

To refugees and migrants, Slovenia is only a transit country, so Slovenia was monitoring the situation in the neighbouring countries particularly carefully. The State Secretary at the interior ministry, Boštjan Šefic, said that if Austria and Germany restrict their intake of migrants, Slovenia will also have to reduce the number of people that may enter the country. According to Šefic, Slovenia has different scenarios in place. "For the time being, it does not seem that the extent of migration will change shortly. However, we should be aware that this could change in a matter of days, both the arrivals and restrictions in the countries to the North, particularly with regard to the incidents in the last few days," he said.

Slovenia was doing its best to complete its tasks as a member of the Schengen area and will continue to work for its preservation. Upon the Netherlands assuming presidency of the EU, its ambassador to Slovenia, Bart Twaalfhoven, also stressed that the so-called ‘mini schengen’ was not a solution, adding that resolving the migration crisis requires solidarity and a feeling of unity among member states.

With increasing intolerance and xenophobia spreading across Europe, there is some hope in such projects as the rehabilitation of Palestinian children in Slovenia that has been led by the 'Let the Dream' – the foundation of Danilo Türk, Slovenia’s candidate for the position of the UN’s Secretary-General. Slovenia and other countries should provide a greater voice for such projects and be determined to oppose any form of hate speech and racial, religious, sexual or other forms of discrimination.

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