Serbia is strengthening the control of its borders to prevent illegal migrants from entering the country. The interior minister has discussed the subject with his Bulgarian counterpart and the representative of the EU. Meanwhile, residents of border towns say that migration pressure is not decreasing, with migrants growing increasingly impatient and aggressive.
Reducing illegal migration is a priority for Serbia, Interior Minister Bratislav Gasic said after meeting with Oliver Varhelyi, the European Union’s enlargement commissioner in Belgrade. The Serbian minister emphasized that the country is doing everything to protect its borders, to curb people smuggling and to combat terrorism, reads the official statement about the meeting.
The commitment of the Serbian state is also proven by the fact that a separate working group has been created to prevent illegal migration and to combat people smuggling and human trafficking, especially at the common borders with the European Union, Mr Gusic said.
Serbia is one of the key states on the Balkan route, so how many immigrants reach the EU’s Schengen border partly depends on Belgrade. In an attempt to curb the phenomenon on the southern and eastern borders of the country, the Serbian interior minister has met with his Bulgarian counterpart. The two politicians agreed to take joint steps against people smuggling. Bratislav Gasic and Ivan Demerdzhiev met at the border crossing between Serbia and Bulgaria.
During the meeting, they discussed a possible cooperation between the two countries’ police forces in the field of immigration. Regarding that topic, they emphasized that more effective measures are needed to tackle migration more successfully. Cooperation between the Balkan countries would be also important, because most illegal migrants arrive in Serbia from the direction of Bulgaria. Thus, Serbia finds itself in a situation where immigrants leave the European Union and pass through the country’s territory in order to enter the EU once again.
“Serbia is ready to strengthen its border control and intensify cooperation with Bulgaria to jointly fight against human smuggling gangs that make transport arrangements for migrants to cross our country,” Bratislav Gasic told the press at the crossing point.
Sofia is aware of the problems caused by illegal migration, the Bulgarian minister said. Ivan Demerdzhiev stressed that Serbia is seen as a reliable partner in this regard.