Denmark has once again allocated millions in order to help the six countries located in the Western Balkans deal better with migrants that are currently located in their territory, as well as to strengthen their border controls in order to prevent further illegal migration.
The Danish government has allocated almost DKK 45 million (over €6 million) from development aid to two regional projects in the Western Balkans, which intend to strengthen both border control and the repatriation of irregular migrants and rejected asylum seekers.
“The government has decided to strengthen border controls and the repatriation of migrants in the six Western Balkan countries Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia, Serbia and Kosovo by almost DKK 45 million,” the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs explains in a press release.
The same also notes that from January 2018 through June 2020, around 167,000 migrants reached Western Balkans, 1,600 of whom currently live in destroyed buildings and tents as a result of a fire in the disused Lipa camp in Bosnia.
Denmark has seen it necessary to take measures in order to prevent a possible flow of these migrants to EU countries, like Denmark.
Commenting on the financial aid allocated for WB countries, the Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Integration Mattias Tesfaye noted that while blankets and warm clothes are donated every winter to migrants stranded in this zone, this solution is not politically nor humanitarianly sustainable.
“Instead, we must replace uncontrolled migration with orderly conditions. That is why I am glad that with a big bag of money we can now help governments in the Balkans deal with the situation at the borders and have people sent on the plane home,” he said.
At the same time, the Minister for Development Cooperation Flemming Møller also asserted that more needs to be done in order to slow down the irregular migration, including creating opportunities and hope in migrant’s home countries.
“There is a need to slow down the irregular migration so that we can help more people in the local areas – and then create opportunities and hope in their own home country. But it requires that we in Europe have control over our borders,” he said.
Both projects are implemented by the United Nations Organization for Migration (IOM)m, and each of them is supported with DKK 22.4 million (over €3 million each).
While the first project is focused in strengthening the capacity of local authorities to repatriate rejected asylum seekers and irregular migrants, the second intends to support to strengthen the local authorities’ border controls, so that better action can be taken against human trafficking and fraud with ID and travel documents.
Back in August, the Danish government allocated an amount of DKK 15.4 million for a project that intended to return back home the irregular migrants located in the Western Balkans. The initiative was also supported by the governments of the Netherlands, Germany, Austria and the European Union. It offered the opportunity to return to their home countries on a voluntary basis by helping them to arrange the return journey. TemA