In response to parliamentary questions of three Christian-Democratic deputies, Dutch Minister of Security and Justice Stef Blok has confirmed that his ministry is aware of the doubling of Albanian criminal incidents in the Netherlands over the last two years, with a strong emphasis on heavy and organized criminal activity.
The number of incidents with persons with the Albanian nationality is in absolute and relative numbers low. However, a relatively large part of it concerns serious crimes of an organized character. The problems are concentrated around Rotterdam and Amsterdam. This concerns both criminal activities such as drug traffic, and the problem concerning Albanian illegal migrants in Hoek van Holland and other ferry zones.
Answering the question whether the government will follow the suggestion of the police and prosecution and consider initiating the EU mechanism to revoke the Schengen visa exemption for Albania, Minister Blok indicated that the government will wait for the Western Balkans monitoring report, expected by the end of this year.
The government is aware of the [amended Schengen] regulation. It contains agreements about the monitoring of visa-exempt countries by the European Commission. In this framework, the European Commission has announced a monitoring report on the Western Balkans, including Albania. This report is expected at the end of the year. The government wants to receive the results of this report containing objective, concrete, and relevant information and data from the appropriate authorities before considering whether to appeal to the emergency procedure [of suspending the visa exemption].
Toward the end of his response, Minister Blok also confirms that “investigating, prosecuting, and convicting corruption and organized on all levels are two of the five conditions for any further steps in the accession process.”