Cooperation in migration management in the Western Balkans and Central European Countries

On 20th and 21st June in the Hotel Kontitental, in Skopje, ALDA (Association of Local Democracy) and CEI (Central European Intiative) organized the seminar: "Cooperation in migration management in the Western Balkans and Central European Countries "

At the seminar participated members of non-governmental organizations dealing with protection of refugees and asylum seekers’ rights, members of Charitable organizations, representatives of embassies and mayors of cities from the EU involved in the refugee crisis, university professors, journalists and other participants from Italy, Serbia, Greece, France and Czech Republic.

The representatives who spoke on the condition of the refugees in Macedonia were Martina Smilevska from the Association of Young Lawyers, and Mersiha Smailovikj, General Secretary of Legis. Martina talked about the asylum system and the procedure for getting asylum in the Republic of Macedonia, the system and laws changed on the 4th of April 2016 and they are completely opposite to the international law and standards, "Every person deserves to have protection and have access to our asylum system. We need to allow equally everyone the entrance in our country in a way in which he could express his purpose and need for protection.

On the second day of the seminar intervened Mersiha Smailovikj who briefed the participants about the current situation of the refugees in Macedonia : "Dear partecipants, welcome to the fortress called Europe, currently you are in the country where the gate of the Fortress is. Macedonia hermetically closed its borders, just because European Union asked for it. We raised a razor wire fence 100 km long, where wild animals remain stranded and cut, and refugees too. We even have the presence of foreign police, and all these measures only to safeguard EU against refugees. "

At the end of his speech Mersiha pointed out: "At this moment we have about 300 refugees stuck in Macedonia for more than 4 months. They have no legal status or documents that can prove they were in our territory. They are held against their will in closed camps, while entered legally Macedonia. They do not want compassion from us, they just want freedom. And I'm here today, I am their voice, their voice calling for freedom! "