European Commission won’t remove visa-free regime for Western Balkans

The European Commission (EC) is not planning on implementing any measures for the time being that would result in ending the liberalized visa regime for the Western Balkans, EC Spokesman Martin Grabiec told B92 on Friday (May 6th). He confirmed that several days ago the EU’s executive arm had received a letter from Belgium, expressing concern about certain cases involving so-called false asylum seekers, but said the EC’s stance is clear. “Even if Belgium really requested suspension of the visa-free regime it would be necessary to hold a debate and get consent from all member states,” he explained.

On Saturday, European Parliament (EP) Rapporteur on Visa Liberalisation for the Western Balkans Tanja Fajon told Belgrade-based daily Vecernje Novosti that “a new wave of false asylum seekers from Serbia and Macedonia, especially in Belgium and Sweden is a reason for a great concern among the EU member states.”
According to her, the possibility of reintroducing visas for the citizens of one or both countries should not be ruled out. “Visa-free travel has certain restrictions. If you don’t respect the rules you will face consequences,” she warned.