EU Delegation has recently signed a three-million euros worth contract with the International Organization for Migration for the continuation of deplacement of fifty members of the Serbian Border Police and fifty of their colleagues from several EU member countries in the area of Negotin, Zaječar and Pirot until June 2018.
Acting Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Oskar Benedikt said that the “joint border patrols from Serbian border police officers and EU member countries were efficient and would continue. It is one of numerous examples of our close and comprehensive cooperation with Serbia dealing with the migration.”
Joint patrols will keep on working on preventing smuggling of migrants and human trafficking, while respecting the rule of law and basic rights. Deliverance of a new equipment and furhter training will also help Serbia to improve border control.
Up to now, 317 police officers from Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, France, Slovenia and Czech Republic have participated in joint patrols with 387 Serbian police officers. From October 2016, to April 2017, they have taken part in discovering 651 cases of migrant smuggling that resulted in 44 criminal charges being brought up against 78 perpetrators in the patrols’ operation zone.
Since September 2015, EU non-refundable aid to Serbia for dealing with migrant issues has reached 80 million euros, out of which almost 59 million was secured through the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA), and 20 million as a part of humanitarian aid. On top of that, EU member countries have provided bilateral aid in the amount of 20 million euros.