The EUobserver published Wednesday morning an exclusive internal EU document, according to which triggering the Visa Suspension Mechanism with some of the Western Balkan countries, Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine is a real option, MIA reports from Brussels.
This comes during European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s Western Balkans tour, as well as diplomatic sources telling Reuters that some member states believe it is not right to extend the EU community further.
According to the document seen by EUobserver, frustration appears to be mounting among France, Germany, and Italy, amid a wider discussion on stopping the alleged abuse of the visa-free travel by citizens of the Western Balkans countries, as well as the three countries of the Eastern Partnership.
A few days ago, France announced a sharp reduction of the number of visas granted to people from the Maghreb countries.
France was not happy with asylum claims from Albania, Serbia, and Georgia, while Germany has faulted Albania as among the problem countries as well as the other three Eastern Partnership countries.
Macedonians could be a problem for Belgium which has seen relatively high figures for North Macedonia. However, Belgium is waiting to see whether this might be a temporary ‘summer phenomenon’.
In addition, there has been a 51-percent increase in Georgian asylum claims over the past three months, when compared to the same period in 2019.
A more than 50-percent increase in irregular stays, or applicants for asylum with low recognition rates, are needed for the visas to be reimposed.