"Serbia not responsible for EU-bound migration"
Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic has said that Serbia is not responsible for the current migrations "that have upset Europe."Source: Tanjug
He made the statement on Thursday during a joint news conference in Belgrade with EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos.
Vucic added that Serbia "quickly took action in consultation with Brussels and some European governments."
Referring to the wave of Kosovo Albanian migrants, he said the country acted "in accordance with the Brussels agreement on freedom of movement, but also with the governments of the EU to take action to send those trying to abuse this type of trust back."
Avramopoulos said that Serbia "played a constructive role when it comes to stopping asylum seekers from Kosovo."
He added that Serbia is expected to take decisive action, and in particular strengthen border control with Hungary in order to solve the problem of ethnic Albanian asylum seekers from Kosovo, "but also when it comes to Serb citizens."
"Although Kosovo dominates in the media, Serbian citizens are also among the most numerous asylum seekers. The key for opening chapter 24 is for Serbia take decisive action when it comes to stopping migrations from Kosovo and asylum seekers from Serbia," said Avramopoulos.
"Help from the Austrian and German police and Frontex is available," he said Avramopoulos.
He added that the Serbian government action plan for chapter 24 was expected from the Serbian government, concerning border management, asylum, smuggling, fight against terrorism.
When it comes to the process of Serbia's EU accession, Avramopoulos said that the EU is firm in its position regarding the European perspective of Serbia.
"We have a lot of work to do and we have to cooperate in order for this to happen," said the EU official.