Are asylum seekers threatening visa-free travel? : Are asylum seekers threatening visa-free travel? (2 videos)

The number of asylum seekers from Balkan countries has risen considerably since the liberalisation of visa. Some EU countries are now requesting the creation of an accelerated procedure to lift the visa-free regime in case of the influx of asylum seekers continues.

  • Shoot date:
  • Country: Belgium
  • Town: Brussels
  • Type: Edited package
  • Standard: pal
  • Aspect ratio: 4:3
  • Duration:
  • Talking head: English, French, Serbian
  • Commentary language: International
  • Video Copyright: This media is free for use in editorial broadcast, webcast, print, online & radio reports.

In Belgium in 2010, 30 percent of all demands for asylum came from the Balkans, mainly from Serbia and Macedonia. Only for January and February of this year, about 500 requests for asylum have been introduced by Balkans' nationals whereas 99 percent of the demands are eventually rejected. To counter the influx of asylum seekers from the Balkans, some EU member states such as France and the Netherlands have already proposed legislation changes to allow for a quick decision on suspension of visa free regime. If adopted, it would mean that EU ministers could decide at any moment to reintroduce visa obligation.