Number of asylum seekers from Kosovo is growing in the EU member countries

Number of asylum seekers from Kosovo is growing in the EU member countries

IBNA Special Report

Pristina, November 26, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Elton Tota

Poverty and misery is forcing many people in Kosovo to seek economic asylum in France, Germany and other EU member countries.

This increase has obliged the Ministry of European Integration and that of Interior Affairs (MoI) to draft a strategy in order to prevent this phenomenon.

Minister of European Integration, Gezim Kasapolli says that all institutions, but the citizens too, must offer their contribution in this process.

“We’re working on a strategy in order to prevent this new trend. It’s the duty of the government of Kosovo and not just the duty of the Ministry of European Integration or Ministry of Interior, to find a way and collaborate with the citizens of Kosovo, in order to demand their understanding, because the economic situation in the country cannot change overnight”, says Kasapolli.

He declared that this phenomenon has been falling at the start of the year, but in the last two months it saw a growth.

“Unfortunately, we’re aware of the new growing trend of people who attempt to migrate illegally toward Western Europe. We have informed them that the path that they’re following will not take them anywhere and it will not be positive for the state of Kosovo. But, as we can see, our appeals have not been heeded and these people are heading to countries who do not offer asylum for them”, says Kasapolli.

He says that there must be cooperation with the Ministry of Interior and EULEX, in order to prevent this phenomenon.

MoI launches efforts to prevent this phenomenon

Ministry of Interior says that from January to October 2014, 13 495 citizens of Kosovo have sought asylum in West European countries.

Statistics show that during this period, 5 275 people have sought asylum in Germany alone. 3 565 people have sought asylum in Hungary, 1 765 in France, 995 in Sweden, 720 in Austria, 455 in Belgium, 300 in Switzerland, 105 in Norway, 90 in Luxembourg and 65 in Italy. 160 people have sought asylum in other European countries.

MoI’s press office says that this ministry has been engaged to address this issue.

“Our engagement has been focused in three aspects: prevention through awareness campaign organized in the past three years; investigation of criminal groups involved in smuggling of migrants and negotiations with EU member countries and Switzerland in order to sign partnership agreements in the domain of migration, enabling regular migration for the citizens of Kosovo, through seasonal employment or scholarships”, says MoI’s information office.

MoI says that it’s focused on tackling criminal groups which are manipulating with the citizens.

In 2013 alone, the number of asylum seekers from Kosovo in different European countries has been 21 thousand. /ibna/