Canada Signs Youth Mobility Agreement with Slovenia

(No. 313 - October 22, 2009 - 10:30 a.m. EDT) On behalf of the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pierre Guimond, the Ambassador of Canada to Hungary and to Slovenia, today signed an agreement with Slovenia under Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada’s International Youth Programs. This agreement will make it easier for Canadian and Slovenian youths between the ages of 18 and 35 to travel and work in each other’s country for up to one year.

"This agreement will facilitate cultural exchanges involving young Canadians and Slovenians," said Minister Cannon. “Such exchanges benefit not only the personal and professional development of these youths but also the long-term international interests of both countries.”

The agreement, signed in Ljubljana, Slovenia, by Ambassador Guimond and Peter Debeljak, Director of the Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth, will be tabled in Canada’s Parliament in the coming months and implemented early next year.

Canada currently has bilateral arrangements on youth mobility with 20 countries. Europe is one of the most attractive locations for young people to gain international work experience. An agreement with Poland was the most recent to be implemented, in August 2009. Canada also signed an agreement with Spain in March 2009 and both countries are in the process of preparing for its implementation. Furthermore, Canada is expecting to sign agreements in the coming months with four other European countries.

The mission of International Youth Programs is to foster close bilateral relations between Canada and other countries through exchanges that give young people an understanding of other cultures through travel, life and work experience abroad. This experience enhances the personal and professional development of participants, giving them a competitive edge in the global job market.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada is responsible for issuing proper documentation for work permits to foreign participants of the program. For details, consult Visiting Canada.

For more information, consult International Youth Programs.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874