Young European federalists of Western Balkan countries (JEF Serbia, JEF Macedonia, JEF Albania and JEF Montenegro) are strongly opposed to the mechanism that enables EU countries to suspend visa free regime for Balkan countries. The mechanism was adopted by European Parliament on the 12th September 2013 and shall enter into force on the 9th January 2014. As JEF Belgium, we would like to support them in this cause!
“With the latest changes, EU member states can suspend visa-free regime for Western Balkans countries which have a high number of fake asylum seekers. The mechanism represents a new threat for our countries and a step back in the visa liberalization regime. While these amendments are being initiated by xenophobic political fractions as a justification for visa refusal, it is frightening to see that up to seven EU countries have announced serious considerations to begin this procedure.” explains Jona Spahiu, president of JEF Albania.
“The real problem is that we don’t have any information from the EU about who are these false asylum seekers as this data is in the domain of privacy right. Serbia has requested this information from Europol, but has not and cannot receive this information. Border control to the EU is stricter and the Western Balkans countries are working hard to address the problem. Proof of this is the fact that the number of asylum applications from the Western Balkans fell by 44% in January 2013 compared to January 2012.”, stresses Isidora Mitic, International Secretary of JEF Serbia.
We would like to invite the EU countries to integrate its multiple domestic legislations into a cohesive European-wide framework and to expedite processing asylum requests. As a good practice example we can mention Switzerland, which defines “true” and “false” asylum applications within 48 hours of submitting an application. This inflicts no high costs for neither the country of origin nor the country-recipient.
On this issue, the President of the Young European Federalists (JEF Europe), Pauline Gessant, states: “The Young European Federalists organise annually an action against borders between European countries. We actively support the mobility of citizens which is essential in promoting a sense of belonging to Europe, enhancing social exchanges and ensuring a friendly and tolerant society on the European continent. That’s why we strongly condemn any attempt to suspend visa free regime and recall our demand for a “visa-free Europe!”