* Croatia: Number of illegal migrants trying to cross into Croatia from Bosnia grows by 350% in 2017. We continue to believe Bosnia, Serbia, Albania and Kosovo will provide migration challenges for Central Europe. The CEDC must answer.
** Some 650,000 migrants passed through Croatia from September 2015 to March 2016 on the so-called Balkan route. Most were aggressive males without identification who were headed towards the wealthier states in western Europe, especially Germany.
The route was largely shut down in March after a series of border closures led by the Central European Defence Cooperation (CEDC), a group of European nation states that include the V4 nations, Croatia, Austria and Slovenia. Macedonia also played a large role while Angela Merkel opposed the measure, although Germany has been one of the biggest beneficiaries.
*** In an operation designed to break up the illegal migration network in Bosnia, three smugglers and twelve migrants from Turkey, Pakistan, Kosovo and Libya were arrested. The illegals were detained and taken to an “immigration centre” in Sarajevo. The migrants usually enter Bosnia via Serbia in their quest for Western Europe.
**** With Hungary and the CEDC doing its job of securing the border, many migrants – instead of being deported or sent back to Turkey – are “roaming” Serbia and looking for opportunities to move north. In addition, the leaders of Greece are not sending “all irregulars” back to Turkey as required by the EU deal. This is creating a backlog, which represents a dangerous situation for Central Europe. The pressure is building.
***** We are also very concerned regarding the environment in both Albania and Kosovo. They have the potential to be fertile breeding grounds for Islamic terrorists, descendants to the ex-KLA Marxist jihadists.
Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and the V4 nations (plus Macedonia) must continue to work together to secure the Balkan border, while a permanent mechanism must be implemented to deport the migrants from Serbia and Greece outside of Europe. This was supposed to be the deal with Turkey, but this is not happening, despite showering Recep Erdogan with large amounts of money to take back the migrants.
In the meantime, the V4 and CEDC must continue to seal-off their borders with Bosnia and Serbia until they begin to cooperate with deportation measures. The V4 should also offer troops and assistance to Romania and Bulgaria (Greece has refused this border help in the past) to help them secure the outer border.
Then, the new government of Austria can concentrate their efforts, aided by the V4 and CEDC, on sealing the border with Italy. Hopefully, the 2018 Italian elections will force a change in the open-entry policies practiced by the current government in Italy.
The inept EU Core cannot solve the problem; in fact, their policies only deepen the crisis. It’s up to the European nation states, led by the CEDC, to take control of the situation.