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Parliamentary questions
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27 January 2017
Question for written answer E-000469-17
to the Commission
Rule 130
Helga Stevens (ECR) , Branislav Škripek (ECR)

 Subject:  EU support to Macedonia in protecting the EU's external border
 Answer in writing 

Towards the end of 2016, as many as 33 000 illegal border crossings had been intercepted by the Macedonian authorities. These irregular migrants were returned to Greece, where the applications needed to be lodged under the Dublin Regulation, where they remain to try again another day. Although Idomeni camp was dismantled, several other camps remain in the Greek region, causing grave security concerns for Macedonia.

Macedonia is spending about EUR 15 million on patrols and fences at their border, which has in some sense even become the EU’s external border. They have 1 000 men on the ground working full-time.

The Bratislava Roadmap promised ‘continued support to the countries of the western Balkans’. Macedonia is clearly contributing to the migration and security strategy of the EU. The EU-Turkey deal is meant to limit the influx of illegal migrants, while the Macedonian authorities are preventing illegal immigrants already present from asylum shopping.

1. In what practical and financial ways is the EU ‘supporting’ Macedonia at the moment?

2. Is increased practical and/or financial support planned? If so, when for and what form will it take?

3. Macedonia, as a non-EU country, does not have access to EURODAC, the fingerprints database. Could this be opened up to the Macedonian authorities to enable a more thorough security, entry and assessment process?

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