Croatian PM to take part in regional conference on refugee crisis.
On Wednesday, European Council President Donald Tusk will organize a meeting with the leaders of countries which are part of the Western Balkan migrant route. The meeting will be attended by Croatian Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković, reports Jutarnji List and Index.hr on February 13, 2016.
“On Wednesday, 17 February, President Tusk will organize a meeting on the Western Balkan migrant route. Leaders of Croatia, Macedonia, Slovenia and Serbia will join President Tusk and President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker to discuss the developments in this area”, said the statement of the European Council. In addition to Tusk and Juncker, the working dinner will include Croatian Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković, Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić and Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov.
The Office of the Slovenian Prime Minister expects the meeting to discuss specific measures to strengthen the control of migrant wave on the border between Greece and Macedonia. Tusk will organize this meeting in preparation for the EU summit which will have the migrant crisis as one of its major topics.
The summit of EU leaders will be held on 18 and 19 February and will be the first summit which will be attended by the new Croatian Prime Minister Orešković. The summit will discuss the implementation of the decisions made to resolve the migrant crisis. The discussions will focus on humanitarian assistance, the control of external borders, the implementation of the EU-Turkey action plan and the establishment of centres for the accommodation of migrants.
On Friday, Austria sent a message to Macedonia that it should get ready “to completely stop” the crossings of migrants across its southern border with Greece, warning that Vienna would do the same on its border in a few months. “It is likely that in the coming months we will reach our maximum, so Austria will have to stop migrants at its borders”, said Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz during a visit to Skopje. “Macedonia must be ready to completely stop the entry of migrants at its borders”, he said.
Serbian Minister for Labour and Social Affairs Aleksandar Vulin said on Friday that Serbia has recorded an increase in the number of migrants and that the country now has a daily average of about 2,800 migrants. During a visit to a refugee transit camp in Šid near the Croatian border, he said that “the data show an increase in the number of migrants”.
According to Vulin, Serbia can accommodate about 6,000 migrants, but so far nobody has demanded that these people should stay in Serbia. “There is no plan, idea, or even a desire of migrants to remain in Serbia. We are only prepared to accommodate 6,000 people for a short period of time. We are talking about transit capacity, and we are not building any permanent accommodation facilities”, said the Minister.