Germany considers placing visa requirements on Serbia and Macedonia in response to large numbers of Roma asylum seekers from these countries.
“Most of the asylum seekers, according to the government report, are Roma people. German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich has referred to them as “unwanted guests,” who are “breaching Germany’s asylum policies.” Friedrich has announced intentions to add police officers to the federal agency for migration and to fast-track the asylum applications that have been filed. Most, Friedrich said, don’t demonstrate the need for political asylum, and represent cases in which people are fleeing poverty and economic ruin in their home countries.”
“The asylum agency of the German state North Rhine-Westphalia complained that the asylum applications from Roma people living outside the EU – such as in Serbia and Macedonia – were being more or less thrown out without being properly considered. Just because these states were looking to become part of the EU, this doesn’t mean that social discrimination and unfair treatment in labor markets don’t exist here, said Birgit Naujoks, spokeswoman for the agency.
“Serbia and Macedonia, on account of their warming to the EU, are on Germany’s ‘safe list.’ This means that Germany essentially assumes that there is no persecution in these countries,” Naujoks added. “I venture to say that if these countries weren’t on their way towards EU accession, the probe into their status would be different.”