Government "to solve asylum issue with EU help"

Serbian MPs from ruling parties and the opposition Democratic Party (DS) said on Tuesday they would support a migration management bill.

Source: Tanjug

They pointed out that the government needed to do everything in line with democratic principles to resolve the issue of fake asylum seekers.

MPs said the government should do everything to prevent the reinstatement of visas for Serbian travelers, noting that it needed the EU's assistance.

The opposition said the issue could only be resolved in the longterm through economic development and employment so that the vulnerable and often marginalized groups could find conditions for survival in Serbia.

Noting that fake asylum seekers are mostly Roma and Albanians from southern Serbia, Riza Halimi, an MP from the Albanian Coalition of Preševo Valley, said that the bill was an attempt to bring order into a chaotic situation but than in the longterm, the problem could only be resolved through economic development of these regions.

MPs of the Democratic Party (DS) believe that measures such as controlling the issuing of passports and crossing of borders, which the EU has asked for in order to avoid rolling back the visa liberalization, could result in human rights violations, because the state does not have the right to stop anyone from crossing the border or refuse to issue a passport if a person meets all the requirements.

Donka Banović, an MP from the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS), said the EU was in a better position than Serbia to prevent fake asylum seekers from abusing benefits offered by its member countries, because it could put Serbia on the safe countries list and thus take away the asylum seekers' motive for going to the EU, as they could be expect to be deported back within 48 hours.

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), whose MPs said they would vote against the bill, noted that Serbia had two kinds of emigrants - highly educated and the very poor, and that the most efficient control was employment, which the government had done nothing to bolster.

United Regions of Serbia (URS) MPs said the best result could be achieved if Serbia and the EU worked together, and that EU member countries could help by listing Serbia as a safe country.

Noting that Serbia should do everything to solve the problem, "but definitely not by kicking people off a bus at the border," members of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) said they were aware this was primarily an economic issue.

"We are aware that politics are involved in this and that some countries want to exert political pressure in this way. We support the government's efforts to do everything it can do in a democratic fashion to resolve the problem," said Milisav Petronijević, an MP from the SPS.

MPs from the Serb Progressive Party (SNS) and DSS brought up the issue of property owned by Serbs who were driven from Croatia, with the SNS proposing to the government to request the resolution of issues related to property, civil and other acquired rights of the Serbs who fled or were expelled from the country.

In addition to the ruling parts - the SNS, SPS, URS, New Serbia and the Social Democratic Party of Serbia, the migration management bill will also have the support of the DS, which considers it a pro-European piece of legislation.


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