At a press briefing in Brussels last week, EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson announced that the European Commission will present a new action plan to stop migration flows from the Balkan route.
The Commission’s new proposal foresees the deployment of units of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) “within the EU, that is between two different partners in the Western Balkans”, with a “new mandate”, as Johansson explains, revealing that “negotiations are already underway with the countries concerned.”
The text also includes a proposal to provide 40 million in border management and surveillance equipment and training for Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, and Kosovo.
The European Commission also called on the Balkan countries, and Serbia in particular, to harmonise their visa policies with those of the EU.
According to Frontex data, the Balkan route has become the most popular route for migrants to travel to the EU. Since the beginning of this year, almost 130,000 people, including women and children, have been checked on this route and 22,300 crossing attempts have been recorded.