New EU €30 million package for the Western Balkans to further support their efforts in tackling the refugee crisis

On 10 March, the European Union has adopted an additional €30 million package to help tackle the impact of the refugee crisis in the Western Balkans. The funding will support Serbia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and other Western Balkans countries to manage their borders and migration flows, accommodate and provide services to migrants and refugees, as well as to support host communities. This new funding comes in addition to more than €59 million of EU assistance already provided to Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia since the start of the refugee crisis in 2015.

Today’s package will help to further improve border and migration management capabilities in the region. It will allow continued support for the border police to carry out border controls in line with European standards and to tackle human smuggling. The funds will also provide further support to the authorities responding to the basic needs of migrants or refugees, such as accommodation, health services and protection, targeting in particular the most vulnerable groups. Support will also be provided to those migrants who wish to voluntarily return to their countries of origin.