Slovenia: Amendments to the Aliens Act Enable the State to Activate Closure of the Border for Asylum Seekers
30 Thursday Mar 2017
By Saša Zagorc, Associate Professor, University of Ljubljana and Neža Kogovšek Šalamon, Director, The Peace Institute – Institute for Contemporary Social and Political Studies
Since its independence in 1991, Slovenia has already been confronted twice with mass influx of refugees and migrants. The first time was during the war in ex-Yugoslav Republics when 60,000 refugees (equalling 3% of the Slovenian population) found shelter in public and, mostly, private dwellings for several years. The second time was at the occasion of the unprecedented “humanitarian corridor” (analysed in the Peace Institute publication “Razor-Wired: Reflections on Migration Movements through Slovenia in 2015”) during the 2015-2016 European-wide migratory movements, when approximately 500,000 persons transited through Slovenia, but with less than 200 claiming international protection on its territory.
Proponents of both security and human rights concerns believe that Slovenian authorities were caught unprepared at the onset of the last crisis in September 2015 albeit each with a rather different reasons. Driven by the fear of repeated mass migration flows, as well as of border blockages by Austria and non-cooperation on readmission by the Croatian authorities, and with the intent to promote securitization internally and externally by sending a signal to migrants and refugees, the Slovenian Ministry of the Interior proposed amendments to the Aliens Act in mid-October 2016. Continue reading »