Macedonian Interior Minister Gordana Jankuloska and Serbian counterpart Ivica Dacic on Friday (March 12th) vowed to step up co-operation against a wave of asylum seekers from their countries trying to move to EU member countries. “We will investigate together whether there are traces leading to organised crime in this process,” Dacic said after meeting with Jankuloska in Skopje. A busload of Macedonians and Serbians who sought asylum in Belgium arrived home Thursday.
The group was extradited for violating EU visa-free travel rules. A wave of Macedonian and Serbian citizens have sought asylum in Belgium and Sweden since the two Balkan countries were given visa-free EU travel in December. Most cited economic reasons for their requests, an argument that authorities in Belgium have consistently rejected.