The first consequences of the opening of the borders: The influx of illegal immigrants on the “Balkan route”

The weakening of the strict border regime, which had been in place due to the coronavirus pandemic, was already widely showing the negative effects on the external borders of Europe. Not only in the Mediterranean Sea, but also in south-eastern Europe, the number of illegal migrants is again increasing dramatically.

The first consequences of the opening of the borders: The influx of illegal immigrants on the "Balkan route"

Bosnia and Herzegovina, where the so-called “Balkan route” has been running since 2015, has experienced a sharp increase in migration in recent days.

According to Darko Ćulum, chairman of the Coordination Committee for Monitoring the Movement of Migrants in Republika Srpska, between 150 and 200 people are currently registered there.

Officials from the canton of Una Sana on the Bosnian-Croatian border noted that the number of illegal migrants in the region had increased significantly in recent weeks and that between 200 and 300 new arrivals were registered daily in the region.

Unlike Bosnia and Herzegovina, neighbouring countries in the region have taken measures to prevent illegal immigrants from entering their territory. Slovenia was in the process of changing the rules for processing asylum applications within 24 hours and for returning migrants to a neighbouring country after refusal. Croatia was likely to follow Slovenia’s example. That meant that many migrants would be sent back to Bosnia and Herzegovina, where they could stay for the time being.

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