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20 Dec 2017

EU Commission reports today continuous fulfilment of Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership

  • EU Commission reports today continues fulfilment of Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership
  • Corruption and illegal migration still the biggest concerns for Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership
  • Moldova and Ukraine carry high corruption, EU Commission states

EU Commission reports today continous fulfilment of Wester Balkans and Eastern PartnershipThe EU Commission reported today to the European Parliament the progress that Western Balkan and Eastern Partnership countries have made to fully implement all required visa-liberalization benchmarks. This was announced on European Commission official website.

In March 2017, the European Commission was obligated to report at least once a year to the EU Parlament for the continuous fulfilment of free-visa requirements from non-EU countries who carry free-visa travel.

This is the first report under this new mechanism to show the progress made by Western Balkan (Albania, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia) and Eastern Partnership (Georgia, Moldavia and Ukraine).

The report notes the positive steps made and encourages countries to put more commitment on important issues.

Most worrying issues for these countries, as the reports state, are corruption and illegal migration toward visa-free states.  Commission applauds the effort countries have done to stop them, causing to a considerable decrease in the number of asylum applications from these countries.

In particular, this topic concerns the state of Albania which has the biggest number of asylum applications in EU visa-free states. Anyway, EU commission praises the hard job Albanian institutions have done to strengthen its borders and cooperation with visa-free member states.  But, they repeat that a lot more is to be done.

The number of refused entry and irregular stays is beyond any limit, so the commission calls upon a range actions all the aforementioned countries must take. These specific actions include strengthening order controls and information campaigns around free travel.

Another topic stressed in this report is the high level of corruption in all these countries. The commission has encountered an extreme corruption and money laundering and a poor performance to fight them in Moldova and Ukraine and ordered immediate actions to stop this.  

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