European Union (EU) and the Western Balkans must act together to find a solution to the migrant issue, which the region is likely to face now after Turkey opened its borders allowing the refugees a passage to Europe, the chief of the International Organisation for Migrations (IOM) in Bosnia Peter Van der Auweraert told N1 on Monday.
According to him, Bosnia can expect an even larger number of migrants using the country as a route to their final destinations in the European Union than in the years that passed.
“It depends on the number of those who manage to reach Croatia. What worries me is that Croatia is increasing the border control, which means that the number of migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina could go up. It means there can be up to 10,000 migrants here on a daily basis. The solution cannot come from Bosnia and Herzegovina,” he was quoted as saying, stressing that it is important for Bosnian authorities to cooperate with the EU to find alternative solutions.
Commenting on security and humanitarian aspects of the migrant crisis, Van der Auweraert said they are closely connected.
“If you wish to secure the safety of the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, then humanitarian conditions for the migrants must be acceptable, which means that if you wish to control the migrants while they are in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the easiest way to do that is putting them in centres managed by the state instead letting them sleep in abandoned buildings,” he said.
As for external financial support, he believes there is a chance for increasing these amounts but that it is a matter of talks between Bosnian authorities, the EU and other donors.