While America’s hardline policy towards refugee and migrant families grabs world attention, the number of child refugees unaccompanied by or separated from parents in Balkan countries is quietly growing.
The number of people arriving illegally in Bosnia has grown this year as desperate migrants seek new ways to reach EU states after other countries on the ‘Balkan Route’ closed their borders.
Worsening relations between Turkey and Europe have raised concerns in Bulgaria andRomania that a new wave of migrants may be on the way – a prospect that both countries find daunting.
Turkey’s row with Germany over its Armenian genocide resolution could result in more refugees being allowed by Ankara to take the ‘Balkan route’ to Europe, experts claim.
Ankara may have got the EU out of a tight situation with refugees – but the end result looks like growing dependence on Turkey’s unpredictable regime.
As northern Europe changes it policies towards migrants, Balkan countries cooperate and prepare for new challenges.
The countries on the Balkan refugee route have not tightened up their procedures for receiving migrants since the terror attacks in Paris – and the EU is increasingly concerned.
Bulgaria’s authorities deny using aggressive practices towards asylum seekers in spite of numerous accusations by human rights groups.
Refugees in the Balkans fear borders may be closed – leaving them in limbo in countries that cannot deal with refugees over a longer period.
Old conflicts are re-emerging and new ones are appearing in the Balkans as a result of the refugee crisis – with the EU looking on helplessly.