EU ministers debate on false asylum seekers from the Western Balkans

EU ministers on Wednesday in Brussels are to count the latest figures on asylum claims from the Western Balkans, and decide how to curb a trend that has accelerated since visas were scrapped.

EU ministers are to assess whether the number of Balkan asylum-seekers is rising or declining, and decide whether the visa free regime may need to be suspended.

“There is a possibility of doing that,” the EU Commissioner for home affairs, Cecilia Malmstroem, said on Tuesday after talks in Skopje with Macedonian leader Nikola Gruevski.

“Hopefully we will not have to do that but the [EU] member states need to see that the trend is decreasing, and that all countries in the region are taking appropriate measures to stop unfounded asylum seekers,” she added.

In May the European Commission proposed setting up a mechanism that would allow the EU to suspend the visa-free regime for certain states under “exceptional” circumstances. The Commission said the “safeguard clause” would be a “last resort” to curb the problem if all other efforts failed.

Gruevski assured Malmstroem that toughened controls were already resulting in a sharp drop in the number of Macedonians claiming asylum in Western Europe.

Check Also

Five Things Kosovo Must Know Before Doing a Deal with Serbia

Following the election of the new government in Kosovo, the US special presidential envoy for …