Germany Warns Bulgaria, Macedonia against Sealing Borders to Migrants

World » SOUTHEAST EUROPE | February 14, 2016, Sunday // 13:12
Bulgaria: Germany Warns Bulgaria, Macedonia against Sealing Borders to Migrants File photo, BGNES

Germany is voicing disagreement with Central European EU member states which have suggested Bulgaria and Macedonia should get a stronger role in EU border protection.

According to Reuters, Berlin officials have sent out letters to the governments of Prague, Budapest, Warsaw, and Bratislava, warning against "unilateral" moves on their behalf which could result in Bulgaria and Macedonia being provided assistance from the respective countries to control the border.

Reports come ahead of the Monday meeting of the Visegrad Group countries (Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary). These countries have argued that, with Greece failing to deliver the expected results in controlling the external EU border, its two Southeastern European neighbors should be assigned a bigger responsibility.

Prime Minister Boyko Borisov was earlier invited to the meeting, as countries like Hungary have intensely courted him to win him for the Visegrad Group's proposal.

Separately, Austria also joined the V4 countries' call on Macedonia to work for enforced border protection. Die Presse quotes Austria's Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz as saying that a continued influx into Europe will have "consequences for the Balkans" and that Skopje should prepare "tough measures".

Earlier this week, Greece was told it had three months to address the shortcomings of its border control with regard to the migrant influx.

The European Commission argues Greece has "seriously neglected" its obligations to control the Schengen zone's external frontier, with deficiencies present in the registration, cheks and fingerprinting of migrants.

Tens of thousands of migrants from the Middle East and North Africa have crossed into Europe via Greece in January, data of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) shows. 

 

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Tags: Visegrad Group, V4, macedonia, Bulgaria, greece, migrants, Germany, migrant crisis, borders
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