The EU Commissioners for Home Affairs and Justice met in Brdo pri Kranju with their counterparts from the Western Balkans at the annual EU-Western Balkans Ministerial Forum on Justice and Home Affairs during 1-3 December 2021. The meeting discussed the challenge of migration management through effective border coordination. The countries agreed to continue their work on developing interoperable systems for identification and registration of mixed migratory flows, as well as National Coordination Centre’s (NCCs) across the region.
The ministers noted that terrorism, extremism and radicalization continue to pose serious threats to the EU and the Western Balkans. The leaders discussed the progress in the implementation of the Joint Action Plan on Counter-Terrorism, a key joint framework of regional states. The Ministers reiterated their commitment to effectively address the issue of returning foreign terrorist fighters, the issues of radicalization, extremism and terrorism. They also discussed cooperation regarding evacuated Afghan citizens, the issues of organized crimes, fight against smuggling, human trafficking, weapons and drugs trafficking.
The EU and western Balkan nations are working closely on various issues including illegal migration, human trafficking and smuggling because Balkans states are the main route of illegal migration from Asia to Europe. The illegal migrants and smugglers entered from Turkey to Greece through land or the sea routes, then moved on foot through mountainous regions of Balkans states including Albania, North Macedonia, Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina and Serbia and Germany etc. The Balkans states wanted to join the EU Community while the EU had conditioned their admission with socio-economic and political development, control on organized crimes and assurance of neighborhood stability. The EU also called on the Balkans states to develop an Early Warning Systems and National Drug Observatories to help fight the drug crimes, under EMPACT agreement. In fact, the Balkans nations have to fulfill a long list of prerequisites to join the EU Community. In fact, Balkans admission in the European Union is hooked on the EU’s desire; however this strategy would help the EU to block a lot of worries of the region.