"No EU member requested reintroduction of visas"

No EU member state has requested suspension of the visa-free regime for Serbia or any other country of the Western Balkans, Tanjug's sources in Brussels said.

Source: Tanjug

There were no talks on the launch of the protection clause, not even the announcement that this could be done, Tanjug was told by a Western diplomat on the occasion of the statement by European Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmstrom published in Belgrade's press on Monday.

Malmstrom said on Monday that certain countries already had informal talks on the protection clause and the possibility of suspension of the visa-free regime for source countries of bogus asylum seekers, including Serbia.

However, Tanjug's sources in Brussels said that the launch of the mechanism is not much likely given that Serbia and other Western Balkan countries have showed that they are doing everything in their might to reduce the inflow of asylum seekers.

I do not believe that the reintroduction of visas is realistic, Alexandra Stiglmayer, analyst of the European Initiative for Stability (ESI), told Tanjug.

She said that the countries, which have labeled Serbia and other Western Balkan countries as safe, actually do not have a problem with bogus asylum seekers, adding that Germany is preparing to do the same.

Stiglmayer said that the mechanism for the reintroduction of visas is complicated and it is the ultimate measure, stressing that it is the European Commission, rather than the member states, that has the final say in the process.

According to the ESI data, the number of asylum seekers from the Western Balkan in 2013 stood around 50,000 that is 20 percent more compared to 2012.


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