Is Slovenia attracting foreign workers as new EU member state?

19-11-2004

One of the basic rights of people living in the EU is the right to live and work in any another member country. It's something the "older" member states have become used to and take for granted. But in the new member states of Central Europe it's meant changing laws on who they allow in - to work and live. For a look at how that's affecting Slovenia, we spoke to Miha Sepec - head of the department for foreign workers in Slovenia:

Photo: European CommissionPhoto: European Commission "The situation has not changed a lot from the accession of Slovenia to the European Union from the 1st of May this year. Still now, most of the foreign workers are workers from third countries as before, but until now the number of these workers is not high. But of course we expect that in the next years these numbers will increase. Especially because employment for foreign workers from third world countries is now much more difficult than before."

How many people from foreign countries currently work in Slovenia?

"Now we have a little less than 40,000 permits, which is about 5 percent of the whole active population."

Photo: European CommissionPhoto: European Commission What is your opinion about the new workers who come from the new members states of the EU? Will they stay for an extended period of time and live here or is it only temporary?

"We think and we see that these jobs are restricted to these specific branches for which in Slovenia there is a lack of domestic workers. As I mentioned before, these are workers in building structuring, then metal workers, then there are also drivers in international transport. And all these activities are limited on time by the contracts, which they are doing, so we don't think that these people will live here for a longer time. They will practically live here for the time that these contracts are made."

19-11-2004

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