Serbian media sources reported on Wednesday that 22,500 Serbian citizens applied for asylum in EU countries in 2013 a 17-per-cent increase on the figure for 2012.
Ivan Gerginov, Serbia’s assistant commissioner for refugees and migration, said the hike would not affect Serbia’s visa-free regime with the EU Schengen area.
In a move that is expected to ease immigration pressure on Greeces eastern border, the Turkish Parliament on Thursday ratified a readmission agreement with the European Union.
Under the deal, which was signed by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Brussels in December, Turkey will have to take back immigrants who enter the bloc illegally via Turkey.
Secretary of State for European Affairs George Ciamba in Luxembourg on Tuesday participated in the General Affairs Council meeting, the discussions having focused mainly on the preparation of the Summer European Council meeting (June 26-27, 2014), granting the candidate status to Albania, the annual exercise European Semester of coordinating the economic policies in the EU and the
Prime Minister Milanovic on Thursday said that Croatia would apply join the Schengen zone on July 1, 2015, two years after joining the European club.
"One year ago, I said that one of our cabinet's major goals would be to make Croatia fit to formally apply for membership of the Schengen zone in the shortest possible time after joining the EU, that is, two years," Milanovic said.
Moldova on Monday became the first country east of the EU whose citizens have the right to visa-free travel to the 26 European countries that comprise the Schengen area.
Moldova won the approval of the EU for the change after undertaking a series of reforms, including providing secure travel documents and improving border and migration management.