Germany and other EU countries have stepped up pressure on Serbia to tighten visa rules for migrants. Statistics show that a total of 19,160 cases of illegal border crossing were detected on the Western Balkan route in September alone.
German Interior Minister Nancy Feather demanded that Serbia speed up the process of bringing its current visa policy in line with policies of EU Member States.
In addition, at a meeting of EU interior ministers, which took place in Luxembourg, Feser stressed that there are clear criteria for a country to be a member of the EU. Including the general visa policy pursued by the bloc. “Serbia must adapt its visa practices to the EU if it wants to become an accession candidate,” — Feather emphasized.
Serbia today has a visa-free travel agreement with the European Union, however, it allows citizens of certain third countries such as India, Tunisia, Burundi, Syria and Russia to enter its territory without the need for a visa. It is natural that the EU authorities have expressed concern about Serbia's visa policy, which is contrary to the pan-European one.
At the same time, the visa agreement between Serbia and the EU provides for only a short stay in a foreign country. And migrants who arrived in the Schengen area through Serbia stay longer than allowed.
The Commission of the European Union also commented on this issue last week. European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson said that she does not rule out the possibility of suspending the visa-free agreement with Serbia, which has been in force since 2009.
“I really hope and think that Serbia and other Western Balkan partners will cooperate with us and bring their visa policy in line with the EU. But I do not rule out any options, », — Johansson said in a statement.
Czech Interior Minister Vit Rakusan commented on the issue: “The consequences of the migration wave from Serbia are visible in every corner of the EU.”