EU to Give New EUR 10 M to Help Macedonia Improve Border Controls

EU | February 15, 2016, Monday // 17:06|  views

Czech Republic police officers control refugees at the exit of the transit and registration camp near Gevegelia, Macedonia, who are going to board a train heading for the Serbian border, Feb. 14, 2016. Photo EPA/BGNES

The European Commission has approved an additional funding of EUR 10 M to help Macedonia improve its border and migration management capabilities in the context of the refugee crisis.

Those capabilities include the conducting of systematic border checks and border surveillance, the identification and registration of third-country nationals crossing the border in a regular and irregular fashion, and the combating and prevention of migrant-smuggling, human trafficking and cross-border crime in full respect of the rule of law and fundamental rights. the Commission said in a statement on Monday.

The EU is ready to extend the assistance to other Western Balkan countries who might be confronted with similar challenges in the future from the migrant inflow into Europe, the EU executive added.

The new funding will also support the costs of the Macedonian authorities relating to the guest officers sent by the EU and Serbia to the country's southern border, Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn commented in the statement.

“This support is complementary to the actions taken to support Greece, including through FRONTEX," Hahn said.

The majority of around 1.3 million asylum seekers and migrants, who applied for international protection in western Europe last year, arrived via the Western Balkan route: from Turkey to Greece, and then further north through Macedonia and Serbia.


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Tags: EU, European Commission, Hahn, assistance, aid, macedonia, Serbia, Balkan


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