VP/HR — Measures against FYROM to ensure its compliance with international law

29 March 2016
Question for written answer
to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)
Rule 130
Notis Marias (ECR)

Recently FYROM has repeatedly violated international law, as evidenced by the agreements it has concluded.

By closing the borders and illegally banning the entry of refugees, it has violated the Agreement of 25 October 2015 on the Western Balkan Migration Route.

Furthermore, in an attempt to prevent the entry of refugees, armed forces of this state-like entity threw tear gas and stun grenades onto Greek territory, which constitutes a violation of Greek national sovereignty.

Finally, those refugees who have managed to enter FYROM, crossing over near Gevgelija during the incidents of 14 March 2016, have complained that they have suffered physical violence at the hands of FYROM police authorities. By behaving in this way, FYROM has violated both the 1951 Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights.

Will the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy say: what steps will she take vis-à-vis FYROM to prevail upon it to stop violating international law as mentioned above?

Given that these actions constitute a violation of the European human rights acquis, what impact will this have on FYROM’s accession prospects?

Source: European Parliament

Answer given by Mr Hahn on behalf of the Commission

A high level meeting on the refugee crisis organised by President Juncker resulted in the Leaders’ Statement of 25 October 2015. The practice by countries along the ‘Balkans route’, of allowing third-country nationals to transit has, in the months following the leaders’ statement, ended.

All countries have the right to protect the integrity of their border and prevent illegal border crossings. Any use of force must, however, be proportionate and in line with relevant standards, such as the European Convention on Human Rights. The Commission will continue to closely monitor whether measures taken at the border are in line with European law and standards and draw the necessary conclusions, including with respect to relevant EU financial assistance to the country’s border police.

The Commission would encourage Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to look at ways to improve coordination in relation to management of their shared border, to prevent illegal border crossings.



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