MEPs concerned over the situation with migrants in Bosnia

MEPs concerned over the situation with migrants in Bosnia

MEPs concerned over the situation with migrants in Bosnia Izvor: FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP

Bosnia and Herzegovina has no capacities to cope with the challenge of migrations, it was emphasised during a discussion on the migration issue held before the European Parliament on Thursday.

Bosnia has neither financial nor managerial capacities to deal with this problem, according to the Parliament member Jesenko Selimovic, who warned that “the situation has become critical.”

A discussion on the situation of migrants at the European Union (EU) border with Bosnia and Herzegovina was initiated by Croatian MEP Ivan Jakovcic who assessed the current situation as “schizophrenic.”

“We must closely follow the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, we must help that country - its institutions are still not doing everything properly,” he said.

According to official estimates, over 20,000 migrants entered Bosnia since the beginning of 2018, hoping they would move forward to the European Union countries. As Croatia closed the borders for their entrance, most of the migrants are trapped in the north-west of Bosnia mostly accommodated in centres run by international humanitarian organisations.

Some of the parliamentarians raised the issue of possible radicalisation that the ongoing migrations might bring along.

“A Bosnian journalist recently said in an interview that there is a threat of radicalisation of young Muslims when they are reached by those persons who enter the country,” said Italian MEP Mario Borghezio.

Borghezio and Croatian MEP Marijana Petir urged for providing a financial assistance in order to stop the radicalisation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“Use the funds to stop the radicalisation and extremism in Bosnia and Herzegovina which are increasing, to avoid the tragic events we witnessed in France, Germany and Belgium,” said Petir.

Left-leaning parties in the Parliament stressed that a recent attack in Strasbourg was used to express extremist stances towards migrations.

They also called for investigation into the recent reports on alleged inhuman treatment of migrants by Croatian police on border of that country with Bosnia.

European Commission's Vytenis Andriukaitis reminded that the EU provided over €30 million of financial assistance to Bosnia to deal with the migrant issue.

“We are cooperating with the UN agencies, providing food, clothes, shelters, protection, healthcare and so on. We know this is a particularly dangerous period and that's why the Commission provided more than €7 million to improve the capacities, to help the police and provide adequate accommodation in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” said the Commission's official.

All this assistance goes along with €24 million that the EU gave Bosnia for a better border management, he added.

According to Andriukaitis, the Commission has already established a contact with Croatian authorities to check the allegations regarding the treatment of migrants.

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