West Balkans May Face Suspension of Visa-Free EU Travel

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | October 15, 2012, Monday // 16:05| Views: 2329 | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: West Balkans May Face Suspension of Visa-Free EU Travel EU flags wave outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, 12 Ocotober 2012. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Six EU Member States want the introduction of a safeguard clause terminating visa-free travel for nationals of Western Balkan countries.

Citing the increased influx of immigrants seeking political asylum in Western Europe, the Interior Ministers of Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, France, Austria, and the Netherlands, signed a joint letter insisting that the matter be discussed at the upcoming Justice and Home Affairs Council at the end of October.

The Interior Ministers of the six EU countries asked for a prompt decision on the proposed safeguard clause.

The requested safeguard clause involves Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, and Macedonia, where visa-free travel was gradually introduced, according to reports of the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR).

European Commission's Spokesperson for home affairs, Michele Cercone, explained that the EC was very worried because the problem with the influx of immigrants from these countries was worsening.

The EC Spokesperson defined visa liberalization as a great achievement and a great responsibility, challenging the authorities and the citizens of the Western Balkan countries to prove that they were up to the task.

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Tags: visa-free travel, EU member states, justice and home affairs council, Western Balkans
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