Reuniting Europe

Busloads of people from Serbia and Macedonia, two countries for which the visa requirement was abolished last December, are seeking asylum in Belgium, Sweden, Germany.

The ethnicity of those people is not the point. The point is that their motivation is purely economic, while asylum is granted on political grounds. Most of these people realise that they will be denied asylum. Then why do they massively apply?

Simply, because they take advantage of the procedure, by being hosted, fed, given some pocket money and basically being assured to spend the winter in better conditions than back home.

I am curious if the national administrations of the wealthy EU countries realise that people arriving by busloads, just as tourists on an all-inclusive package, cannot be asylum-seekers. The conditions offered to asylum seekers may not be perfect, however, for those people, they look like all-inclusive tourism, free of charge.

Well, free of charge for them, because the EU taxpayers we pay for it. And we also pay for the national administrations. So we ask them to do their job properly.

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  1. You must not refer to FYROM as “Macedonia”.
    If you respect the decision of UN you should refer to this nation with its provisional name former Yugoslav Repyblic of Macedonia (fYRoM) until the name dispute with Greece is being resolved.

  2. I authorised this comment just to say that I find the name dispute between Athens and Skopje very stupid, detrimental to the two countries, to the Balkans and to the EU.
    All EU countries except Greece are calling Macedonia with its constitutional name in their bilateral relations, and I don’t see why I should do otherwise.
    Having said this, i would be happy to call Macedonia in any possible way, like the Vardar Republic, Big Mac or Skopsko pivo, should Athens and Skopje reach at last a compromise ; )

  3. What a hypocrisy of European bureaucrats.
    The EU will abolish visa liberalization for the western Balkan countries in a situation where the largest number of asylum seekers are from EU countries – Bulgaria and Romania.

    Who is kidding who, I ask?

  4. Dear Igor,
    I authorised your comment to tell you that the Bulgarians and Romanians present in countries like France nationals are not seeking asylum. So there is a difference. Besides, Bulgaria and Romania are in the EU and their citizens cannot be stopped by visas any longer. So it’s a bit of a difference.

  5. Dear Georgi Gotev.

    As you have said “All EU countries except Greece are calling Macedonia with its constitutional name in their bilateral relations” . Exactly, this is tha case.!!! IN BILATERAL RELATIONS!!! Is your article refering to bilateral relations between you and fYRoM??If yes, then no problem. But I suppose that your article is to be read by the whole world’s Net users. So, in order to respect everyone and everyone’s concerns, it is more suitable to use the agreed references for all sides.
    But of course this is my opinion. You are free to act in every way you like. I just said that it is more objective and neutreal to respect the interim agreement. Unless, this article concerns only fYRoM and you.

  6. I wanted to act on the article “Europe hit by scores of Western Balkan asylum seekers” but this article in this blog looks kind of the same. I like EurActiv because I believe the editors are totally independent. In this article it doesn’t seem so.
    You say in the above mentioned article that the reason of asylum of Roma and Albanians from Vojvodina and Sandzak are purely economic and not political as they pretend. Where are your arguments? I see one “because” in this article and it looks like a ferrytale to me (“to get warm during the winter”). If your ferrytale counts as a basic proof why are there only albanians and roma leaving those regions? It’s only them living there? Why does serbs or macedonians living in those regions don’t seek asylum in Europe? Are they more rich than those two ethnicities? Your right answer would delight me!

  7. Dear ‘Long live independent press’,
    Please don;t confuse my blog (opinionated) with the EurActiv article (fact-based).
    That’s the beauty of blogs – may opinion triggers a response from you, and we can discuss.
    I realise that there are people in Serbia and Macedonia who are not Roma or ethnic Albanians and who are also in a desperate economic situation. But I still think that they have no grounds to seek asylum.
    And I think that Roma or Albanians are more organised, or have a herd reflex.
    I will try to explain: when one of their leaders decide, or if they get manipulated to sell their houses and buy bus tickets, they just do it.

  8. Dear Mr. Goev,

    Clicking to the link “react on this article” sent me to your blog where the opinion is the same.
    I understand that you realise and you are convinced for your ideas, and I respect that since I’m writing to you in a way to share opinions and learn. However, I can get to your point only by getting to real facts.

    Why do I desagree with your article?
    I am sure that those two ethnicities are not organised because they would have had a better quality life as by organized people there is only good things to see. I’m also sure that, after having visiting some places like that, those two ethnicities are beeing abused, not awere of their rights, rejected by the society in those two countries, and so on.
    I also believe that serbians and macedonians living in Vojvodina and/or Sandzak can easily move to other regions where there’s more prosperity, hope for a better life and chances to get a job. The ethnic albanians and roma are not welcome in other regions where nationalism is bigger than in two reagons mentioned.

    This also shows that they’re not organized, in order to make strikes and make their voice beeing heard by EU powers. A way for them to show this are “Leaving in groups and sharing the same political reasons and regional problems”. Seeking asylum in groups is the only one way to show Europe that there’s a problem in those regions. The same’s happening with Iraqi or Afghans. I totally agree that the EU countries should send them back, but also alarm the two countries concerned, of the problem that’s occurring. They should strengthen the law of giving free visas to countries (what they’re already doing, read last articles in EurActiv) where the state does not work on the nationalism way of thinking and saying loud that those ethnicities belong to their countries because they’ve the same nationality, and that minorities should be respected. We’ve all seen the nationalism in the match Italy -Serbia where an albanian flag was burned.

    I’m sure you’ve finished studies in journalism, but you should speak with facts to convince people. Everyone can give an opinion, deffending it is the most interesting part!

  9. Dear Georgi, dear is difference if one wants to see difference.

    People from Bulgaria and Romania go to western countries in order to WORK and LIVE there.
    People from the Western Balkan countries go to western countries in order to WORK and LIVE there, but they have to seek asylum because their country is not EU member.

    Same cause, different manner because of the double standards.

    You have no problem to give your tax money for over 2 million citizens that came from Bulgaria and Romania, but you have problem with barely 20.000
    citizens from Serbia and Macedonia.

    By the way, this people are going to their relatives that are working in living in western countries for over 30 years. Why you didn’t had any problem with them 30 years ago? Maybe because then they were coming from country that was

  10. …one of the mightiest in the world, and today they are coming from small countries that serve as experimental mice.

    You don`t care about us because we are formally not part of your “happy” family, although we naturally belong to Europe?

    If this is not hypocrisy, I don`t know what is.

  11. All countries in Eu must stop these economic migrants or the fake asylum seeker we are in Germany having so much Arbiets loss and then they want to come all are bogus asylum seeker as in Germany the processing system for the asylum seeker takes so long and are provided every thing from housing, medical , food, cloth pocket money to send back home handy or may be internet connection then all these people go in these country people Pizza or cleaning or prostitution or may be in the drugs and other crime so what they all want just to enjoy the life and time here all must be sent back no more asylum the people who really need asylum they all are known figure in there countries and like this bogus lies and criminals. Even Greece also must build the wall and throw the garbage back to the countries of origan

  12. Sorry Georgi, I used to be a big fan of Euractiv but your article is simply extremely racist (and even more so your comments). I don’t know what this has to do with professional journalism (whether blog or not) and I am deeply disappointed.

  13. Dera Bettine, can you be more specific? Then I would be happy to comment. Georgi

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