Local government for migrants

The City of Košice indicate its priority to take care of its residents who have permanent residence in Košice. The Act No 369/1991 Coll. on the General Establishment, as amended, states: “The basic task of the municipality in the performance of self-government is to care for the comprehensive development of its territory and the needs of its residents” while “the resident of the municipality is a person who has permanent residence in the municipality” (see § 1 (2) and § 3 (1) of the Act). The provision also applies to foreigners with permanent residence in the Slovak Republic[1].

This provision may be understood as a duty of the municipality to take care of the needs of all persons with whom it has a legal relationship, which is established by permanent residence irrespective of nationality. The relationship between the city and its residents is bilateral. The resident of the municipality participates in the development and improvement of the municipality and provides assistance to the municipal authorities.

 

[1] The Act on the General Establishment explicitly refers to § 42 (2) the Act on Residence of Foreigners: The permanent residence is a) permanent residence for a period of five years, b) permanent residence for an unlimited period, c) residence of a TCN who was granted long-term residence status in the European Union (hereinafter referred to as a “long-term residence”) and to § 63 (2) the Act on Residence of Foreigners: Pursuant to the Title, the residence of a Union citizen and the residence of a family member of a Union citizen is permanent residence.

 

Right to vote and to stand as a candidate in the self-government

The residents with permanent residence have the right to participate in the self-government. In particular, they have the right:

  • to vote and to stand as a candidate at municipal elections (mayor of village/town/borough, municipal bodies/council)
  • to vote on important issues regarding municipal life and development (local referendum),
  • to participate in municipal assemblies and to express their opinion and to attend the meetings of the municipal council,
  • to turn to the municipal authorities with their incentives and complaints (petitions, suggestions),
  • to use normally the municipal facilities and other property serving for public purposes[1].

The right to participate in the self-government (except for the right to vote and to stand as a candidate at municipal elections and to vote in a local referendum) also applies to those who possess immovable property in the territory of the municipality or pay a local tax or local fee, are registered as a temporary resident in the municipality or enjoy the status of honorary citizen of the municipality[2]. The Act on the General Establishment grants this right also to foreigners who were granted temporary residence in the Slovak Republic[3]. This category of foreigners can play an important role and participate in the life of the city, even though the law does not consider them to be residents of the city[4].

 

[1] § 3 (2) of the Act on the General Establishment

[2] § 3 (5) of the Act on the General Establishment

[3] The Act on the General Establishment refers to § 20 the Act on Residence of Foreigners

[4] § 3 (3) of the Act on the General Establishment

 

Right to access social services

Social services like social counselling, care services, social housing and housing for pensioners, catering for pensioners, services of community centres, shelters etc. are primarily provided by the City of Košice, City Districts Authorities or in partnership with other organizations. One of the institutions founded by the City of Košice is the Psychosocial Centre, which provides social counseling and psychological support. The complete list (incl. also services provided by NGOs, charity or church organizations) can be viewed here.

 

Only foreigners granted permanent residence are entitled to such services, however, pursuant to the Act No 448/2008 Coll. on Social Services, a recipient of the social services is a natural person who is not only a Slovak national, but also an EU and EEA citizen and his/her family members, persons granted international protection and, more or less, other foreigners granted permanent and temporary residence.

 

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City Wards - https://www.kosice.sk/city/wards