Miščević: Serbia got access to all the talks in Brussels and to data on migrants

March 16 2023 | Belgrade

Miščević: Serbia got access to all the talks in Brussels and to data on migrants

Minister of European Integration Tanja Miščević assessed that the Administrative arrangement signed today on the establishment of cooperation between the European Commission and the Commissariat for Refugees and Migration of the Republic of Serbia in the European Migration Network represents a tangible result of good cooperation and Serbia’s significant progress in this important process.

“The arrangement granted to Serbia in the European Migration Network is a tangible result of good cooperation and significant progress in this process which is concluded by giving Serbia the status of observer in the European Migration Network”, Miščević has said after the signing of the Arrangement in the Government of Serbia by Commissioner for Refugees and Migration Nataša Stanisavljević, on behalf of the Republic of Serbia, and Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Emanuele Giaufret, on behalf of the European Commission, in the presence of Ylva Johansson, European Union Commissioner for Home Affairs.

This is what Miščević said at the press conference in the Government of Serbia held jointly with Commissioner Johansson who emphasised that by her visit to Belgrade she wanted to demonstrate the EU’s strong commitment to good cooperation with Serbia as an important partner in the field of migration and security.

Miščević has added that by signing the Agreement Serbia was given an opportunity to join all the talks on migration carried out in Brussels and beyond, in which all 27 EU members participate.

“The observing Member status implies full exchange of information and access to all databases, which is an important step in the process of learning and cooperation”, Miščević said, assessing that Commissioner Johansson’s visit to Belgrade is highly significant. 

As Miščević assessed, the arrangement will help Serbia’s voice be better heard, as Serbia is highly prepared not only to assist in the field of migration but also to strongly contribute in fighting illegal migration, which is one of the important elements for our demonstration of commitment in one of the chapters of the negotiating process.

“That is a matter of broader security of both citizens of Serbia and of the entire Europe, a matter that implies assistance in border protection, as one of the key elements of every sovereign state’s functioning”, she said, underlining that the Commissariat as an observer will participate in meetings of larger group of experts related to return of migrants which is, as she added, both political, financial and economic issue in every state.

So far, the EU has done a lot together with Serbia in building capacities, learning and improving knowledge of the employees in the Commissariat, MoI, Border Police, and by donating the equipment and other important assets relevant for their work.

She has recalled that EUR 200 million has been secured in cross-border cooperation as the EU grant in assisting border management.

In her words, another important domain is the integrated border management where EUR 28 million was secured through sectoral cooperation.

These are not only donations but also resources to secure broader safety of citizens and everyone traversing through Serbia, Miščević said.

Miščević mentioned that, in addition to direct cooperation with the EU and competent authorities, another important segment of Johansson’s visit is the improvement of cooperation with Frontex and Europol.

This was an opportunity to present the results in the fight against organised crime and human trafficking, in particular migrants.

Miščević reminded that another important segment in meeting the obligations from the integration process in the circumstances of the migrant crisis and opening of the Western Balkans Route was to align with the visa regime and that in four months Serbia managed to introduce visas for citizens of six countries.

“This reduced the percentage of asylum seekers to a great extent and prevented the illegal entrance to the EU from Serbia. We are now discussing the enhancement of cooperation, and our joining that mechanism and the European Migration Network is an important segment”, Miščević said.

Source: Tanjug