"We won't send migrants back to Serbia"

The EU does not return illegal migrants to their countries of origin in as many numbers as it could on the basis of rejected asylum applications.

Source: B92, RTS

However, the EU has no plans to send them to Serbia.

On the contrary, the EU's goal is to help Serbia reduce the illegal influx of people, said Ylva Johansson, EU Commissioner for Internal Affairs and Migration.

In a conversation with RTS, she also explained the EU's policy towards migration, where she sees the role of Serbia, but also what the biggest security challenge is and how Serbia can be actively involved.

Commenting on the concern in Serbia that the European Union is planning to move most migrants and refugees from the camps there to Serbia, the commissioner says that "there is no truth in that".

"There is nothing more wrong than that. What we need to do is to manage migration together. I am here to help with that, to determine which ways migrants arrive in Serbia, so that we can work with those countries as well. And to see what we can do on the return of those who do not have the conditions to stay".

She also pointed out that "there is absolutely nothing in it."

"On the contrary, I am here to cooperate on totally opposite things," she emphasized.

When asked what the two and a half million euros of support given to Serbia should be used for, Ylva Johansson stated that it is "support for migrants who are already here, to help them, so that, for example, they can go to school, become part of society".

"I think it's fair to support Serbia in that. But that's not the only support we provide. We also help countries that are on their way to Serbia, as we see how to help those who need to return to their home country", the EU Commissioner was clear.

She also stated that she thinks that Serbia is a very reliable partner when it comes to migration and that it has a sober and realistic approach to that issue, which she really appreciates. "Migration is not something to be afraid of, but migration must be managed. And no one can do it independently, because migration is by definition cross-border. That is why we have to work together.

The European Union and Serbia, but also other countries that are on migrant route", concluded Ylva Johansson. Let us remind you, Ylva Johansson is the EU Commissioner for Internal Affairs and Migration, and she came to Serbia to determine the situation on the so-called "migrant route", i.e. the part of the route that passes through Serbia.

During her stay in Belgrade, she met with the President of Serbia and attended the signing of the Treaty on European Union Support in Migration Management - the second phase of improving reception capacities, protection services and access to education, visited migrant camps in Obrenovac and Dimitrovgrad and agreed to work together with Minister Vulin, Serbian police and European Union Agency Frontex on the borders of Serbia.


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