ZAGREB, February 8, 2020 – Members of a delegation of the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance, who visited Croatia on Friday, say in an interview with Hina that all the EU member-states tacitly accept the violation of migrants’ rights at the Croatian border, while Interior Minister Davor Božinović adamantly dismisses any claim about rights’ breach.
The three-member delegation on Friday held talks with the Croatian minister Božinović, the public ombudswoman Lora Vidović and activists from civil society associations, and on Saturday they will visit Bosnia and Herzegovina to get an insight into the migration situation along the border between the two countries.
Erik Marquardt, a German member of the European Parliament, told Hina on Friday afternoon that all the EU member-states should be considered responsible for the developments along the Croatia border, and explained that the Green MEP delegation had not arrived in Croatia to blame the Croatian police, explaining that the situation was the result of the pressure from the whole Union.
The countries along the EU borders, including Croatia, Greece or Italy, must deal with the arrivals of migrants, and the responsibility should be shared among other EU member-states, too, however this is not yet the case, Dutch MEP Tineke Strik told Hina. She said that the current treatment of migrants was in the interest of all the EU members.
The delegation said that they had been provided with contradictory statements from the interlocutors in Zagreb. While Minister Božinović denied any case of violation of rights of migrants who are trying to pass through Croatia on their way to the western countries, ombudswoman Vidovic and the activists insisted that testimonies of people indicated violations of the rights of migrants.
Belgian Saskia Bricmont raise the question of “pushbacks” of migrants as problematic.
Minister Božinović informed the delegation that Croatia protected its border in legal way and in parallel it humanely treated all who really needed assistance.
Dismissing any accusations about violence against migrants, and reiterating that those accusations had been directed from the left-wing part of the political spectrum, he also said that the law enforcement authorities investigated every claim about possible illegal treatment of migrants.
MEP Bricmont also added that the European Union had not developed a joint policy of asylum and migrations.
In a similar vein, Minister Božinović aid that Europe had to decide on plans for those people and to remain committed to is principles of humanism and the rule of law.
“All those who give false hopes to migrants about problem-free and illegal passage to Germany, France or Italy, fail to honour the European values and actually act inhumanely, despite their declarative intentions, the Croatian minister said.
There are the 68 MEPs from the Group of Greens in the European Parliament, and they make up approximately 10% of the seats in the EP.
More news about the migrant crisis can be found in the Politics section.