An Italian police patrol on the border between Italy and Slovenia | Photo: Giovanni Montenero / Archive / ANSA
An Italian police patrol on the border between Italy and Slovenia | Photo: Giovanni Montenero / Archive / ANSA

The 2021 Immigration Report by the IDOS research center noted that, between January and mid-November 2020, "Italy sent back 1,240 migrants and asylum seekers to Slovenia" as part of readmission agreements.

"Between January and mid-November 2020, Italy sent back 1,240 migrants and asylum seekers to Slovenia, while in the summer of 2020, the interior ministry acknowledged that the readmissions to Slovenia involved some asylum seekers," according to Rivolti ai Balcani2.

The figure emerged during the presentation of the 2021 Immigration Report by the IDOS research center on October 28, in Friuli Venezia Giulia (FVG) in northeastern Italy.

A co-author of the report, Paolo Attanasio, noted that "these readmissions mean, for us, pushbacks, since the Italian authorities cannot disregard that the people readmitted to Slovenia are then subject to a successive readmission from Slovenia to Croatia and from there to Serbia or Bosnia, and thus left in conditions of both moral and material abandonment."

'Issue unfortunately remains very timely'

The FVG regional branch of IDOS stressed that all authorities involved in the matter should focus on the issues raised by the report.

"The issue unfortunately remains very timely," said Attanasio, "since, according to the latest reports available, until July 2021, Italian-Slovenian patrols have resumed in the Trieste/Koper and Gorizia/Nova Gorica provinces on the basis of a new, recent agreement between the police authorities in Rome and Ljubljana."

Foreign resident numbers dropped during COVID in the FVG region

The report also looked at the overall numbers of foreign residents in the region. The authors concluded it is most likely due to "difficulties linked to COVID" that there was a slight fall - 0.4% - seen in the number of foreign residents in the FVG region between 2019 and 2020, which ended with an overall 106,851 of them in the region.

The drop seen in 2020 was the largest at -0,9% of a total of 38,926 foreign residents in Udine, followed by Pordenone (-0.8%, 31,861) and Gorizia (-0.3%, 14,612).

The foreign residents in the province of Trieste, on the other hand, rose by 1.1% to 21,452.

The Romanian community remains the largest in the region, accounting for 23.4% of the foreign nationals there, followed by Albanians at 8.6%.Thus, immigration to FVG remains more "European" than that seen in the rest of Italy, "with a clear prevalence (of foreign nationals) from East-Central European States."

Work and study

The percentage of foreign students out of the total in the region has risen from 12.4% to 12.9%. "It should also be remembered," Attanasio said, "that 65% of the over 20,000 foreign students registered in schools in the region were born in Italy. This shows the urgent need for a profound reform of the citizenship law" in Italy, he concluded.

On the issue of employment, the percentage of foreign workers dropped from 11% to 10.5%, and the percentage of foreign nationals among the unemployed rose and was at 22% compared with 21.9% in 2019.

Of Italians employed in the region, some 36.9% are in managerial professions, compared with 9% of foreigners.

"The reasons for this disparity, which in some cases takes on the markings of discrimination," Attanasio said, "should not necessarily be sought in the professional qualifications of foreign workers, who are overqualified compared with the roles they carry out in 45% of the cases, compared with 28% of Italians."


More articles