Agreement of Balkan route countries should reduce refugee returns


Joint profiling and registration of migrants on the Macedonian-Greek border, agreed by representatives of Croatian, Slovenian, Austrian, Serbian, and Macedonian police, should in the future help reduce the number of refugee returns, namely the number of migrants which these countries are sending back to the countries whom which they entered.

After police chiefs from the five countries signed a joint statement on the joint profiling and registering of migrants and their transport from the Macedonian border to Austria and Germany, Croatian chief of police Vlado Dominic said that following a good profiling and registration process at the Macedonian-Greek border, there would be no more linear returns of migrants.

However, should there be any returns, police chiefs will agree the way migrants would be sent back, Dominic said, reiterating that only those migrants coming from war-stricken areas would be allowed to enter.

”We have agreed to profile and register migrants in Macedonia and organise their transport,” Dominic said, adding that once the transport starts, no one will be able to join the convoys.

The aim of the agreement is to avoid having refugees turned back to another country en route, Dominic said.

He said the measures agreed would be implemented as of Thursday.

Dominic and his counterparts agreed to invite Bulgaria and Albania to join their efforts to register migrants because pressure could be exerted on those countries in case of a complete closure of the Greece-Macedonian border.

He also said that the police chiefs did not agree quotas regarding how many refugees each country would let in, as the situation is changing by the day.

Austria said on Wednesday it would limit the number of migrants it lets in to 3,200 a day from Friday, turning an annual cap on asylum claims into a daily entry quota. That is likely to cause backlogs on the main refugee route into Europe.

Countries on the Balkan route for refugees fleeing war and instability in the Middle East and Africa have indicated they will follow suit if Austria or Germany impose any tougher measures on migrant arrivals.

The meeting of police chiefs was accompanied by a protest of about a dozen activists of the “Welcome” association who gathered outside the hotel where the meeting was held carrying banners “For Free Europe.”
Activists urged the police representatives not adopt measures aimed at sending refugees back to unsafe zones.

(Hina) its