Serbia to align visa policy with EU by end of 2022

In meeting, Serbian president, European Commission vice president agree on need for joint work on migration issues.

Serbia to align visa policy with EU by end of 2022

Serbia plans to make significant progress on harmonizing its visa policy with that of the EU by the end of the year to prevent its territory from being used for illegal migration, the country's president revealed on Friday.

In a meeting with a top EU official, Aleksandar Vucic said in a statement that migratory policy in the region had been on the agenda, along with ways to strengthen cooperation with support from the EU.

According to the statement on Vucic's meeting with European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas, stopping illegal crossings and helping refugees located or passing through Serbia's territory were also among the topics discussed.

"The interlocutors agreed on the necessity of joint work as the only possible way to solve challenges in the area of ​​migration and the position of refugees," it added.

For his part, Schinas announced a new €36 million ($35.3 million) tranche of financial assistance from the European Commission to the Serbian Commissariat for Refugees and Migrants.

He also offered to accelerate the deployment of FRONTEX to support border protection in Serbia.

Hungary, Austria, and Serbia on Monday agreed to expand cooperation in fighting "illegal migration," according to Serbian local media.

The move came after the leaders of the countries met in Hungary's capital Budapest.