Three important EU countries have recently, and consistently stressed that Albanian asylum seekers are turning into a serious problem for Europe.
Through its ambassadors, public institutions, or campaign, the Netherlands, Germany, and France have appealed to Albanians with the message that seeking asylum in those countries will not offer a solution, as no request is accepted.
France expressed a few days ago its concern about Albanian asylum seekers, and about the fact that the country find itself in a difficult situation, unable to house them in the special refugee centers, which are currently already overpopulated. Next month, Minister of Interior Affairs Gérard Collomb will visit Albania to talk about the possibilities of halting the flow of Albanian emigrants to France.
In a recent interview, the German Ambassador Susanne Schutz stated that 100% of the asylum requests of Albanians in Germany are rejected, because Albania is classified as a safe country of origin. After their application is rejected, asylum seekers are requested to return to their country of origin at their own expenses, or are otherwise repatriated by force and banned from entering the Schengen area for up to 5 years.
The Netherlands is another European country frequently voicing its concerns about the increase in Albanian asylum seekers. It is currently the country that has taken most concrete steps toward limiting the influx of illegal immigrants. A few days ago, a police report was leaked in which, based on the rise in Albanian criminal activity in the country, the Minister of Security and Justice is advised to reconsider Albania’s visa exemption. This report, which is not yet officially published, led to parliamentary questions.
In April 2017, Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders already visited Tirana to express his concerns about the rising immigration.
If the illegal immigration stream from Albania to the Schengen area is not halted, this may eventually lead to a suspension of the visa exemption, a process that can be started by a simple majority of EU countries.