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Bosnia Seeks Austrian Support for Frontex Status Agreement

Bosnia and Herzegovina is hoping to get Austria’s help in signing a status agreement with the border agency Frontex, as Bosnian Interior Minister Nenad Nesic met with Austrian counterpart Gerhard Karner during a working meeting in Vienna on Tuesday.

Karner praised the good police cooperation between the two countries. “This year alone we were able to arrest 300 traffickers,” he stated, also highlighting the fact that deportations from Bosnia have also been taking place since last year with Austria’s support, APA reported.

The main topic of the meeting between Karner and Nesic was irregular migration on the Balkan route, the fight against organised crime and smuggling, and the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina in this regard.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is now seeking to sign a status agreement with the EU border management agency Frontex, following a cooperation agreement with Europol. Nesic also expects Austria’s help to sign an agreement by the end of the year.

“Bosnia and Herzegovina wants to be part of the collective European security,” Nesic said. At the same time, he pointed out that the EU must respect Bosnia’s “specific situation” and constitution. He also hopes for help from Karner, “who knows our state structure, not only now but also in the past.”

“Bosnia and Herzegovina is a reliable partner in the fight against the international smuggling mafia. The Frontex agreement will further strengthen border protection in the region,” Karner stressed.

Frontex has concluded status agreements with all Western Balkan countries (with the exception of Kosovo, which is not recognised by all EU countries) and Moldova since 2019, which allow Frontex operations on the respective national territory by mutual agreement.

Source : EURACTIV

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