Šarec: Slovenia Supports UN Compact, But Opposed to Illegal Migration

By , 19 Nov 2018, 18:00 PM Politics
Prime Minister Šarec Prime Minister Šarec Vlada Republike Slovenije. Photo: Nebojša Tejić

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STA, 19 November 2018 - Prime Minister Marjan Šarec told the National Assembly on Monday that by acceding to the UN Global Compact for Migration, Slovenia would not lose sovereignty in that field. He stressed that the document did not equalise legal and illegal migration, adding that Slovenia was successful in tackling illegal migration.

"Illegal migration is a problem and Slovenia does not support it," Šarec said in an answer to an MP question, adding that the current illegal migration faced by Slovenia was a consequence of activities of human-smuggling criminal groups.

"This is something we are fighting against every day. The Slovenian police are working responsibly on this," he told Danijel Krivic of the opposition Democrats (SDS), who originally asked about an official Slovenian translation of the UN Global Compact for Migration.

While Krivic believes that a translation could resolve dilemmas raised in the public, Šarec said that there was no translation because ratification in parliament had not been envisaged. A translation has nevertheless been commissioned and it will be published soon, he added.

UN Compact on Migration is not legally binding

But the prime minister said that this would change nothing, as the fact is that the document is not legally binding. He added that the document, which is expected to be confirmed in Morocco's Marrakesh in December, was being "hugely politicised".

Šarec believes that the countries which have announced withdrawal from the agreement did so for internal political reasons. He rejected the policy of scaremongering in a bid to score political points, including by the SDS.

He pointed out that some countries "which have much bigger problems with migration than us", like Spain, had acceded to the UN Global Compact for Migration.

The signature on the document will not have any impact on the number of migrants in Slovenia, he said, adding that it was the beginning of resolution of a common problem, like climate change or something else.

Migration an international problem

"If every government started to solve the issue on its own, and close its borders ... then we will not get far," Šarec said, adding that the EU was facing huge problems because the issue was not being tackled in unison.

"The issue of migration needs to be addressed at the source and by no means by politicking here today," he added.

The right-leaning opposition has been calling on the government to fully reject and actively oppose the adoption of the UN Global Compact for Migration.

The SDS, New Slovenia (NSi) and National Party (SNS) want the National Assembly to propose that to the government, with the session on the topic scheduled for Wednesday. The motion has already been rejected by the relevant committee.

The government meanwhile appointed last week an inter-ministerial task force to draft and implement a migration management strategy. The strategy will include economic and illegal migration, international protection and integration.

Interior Minister Boštjan Poklukar said on Thursday that the strategy was an obligation under the coalition agreement. The task force will be headed by Interior Ministry State Secretary Sandi Čurin, an expert in combat against human trafficking.

A number of NGOs and humanitarian and research organisations have called on the government to include at least two NGO representatives in the task force and a representative of an organisation studying migration.

By doing so, the government would draft a strategy which would be based on the latest findings, reliable and comprehensive data on the situation regarding migration, says the letter signed by a total of 23 organisations.

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