In late November last year, the European Union’s neighbourhood and enlargement commissioner, Oliver Varhelyi, visited Bosnia and Herzegovina to discuss, the Commission said, “EU reform priorities” and cooperation, “in particular on migration.”
Varheyli attended the signing ceremony of a 500,000-euro agreement between the Bosnian government and the International Organisation for Migration, IOM, and financed by the EU to step up the voluntary and non-voluntary return of migrants from Bosnia.
But he also announced another 500,000-euro project for the Lipa Temporary Reception Centre in a remote part of Bosnia’s northwestern Krajina region.
“We need to keep our detention facilities in Lipa and the region under control, meaning that the fake asylum-seekers must be detained until they return to their countries of origin,” Varhelyi said, offering few other details.
A spokesman for the European delegation to Bosnia, Ferdinand Koenig, confirmed that the project involves construction of a detention area “outside” the current Lipa centre and which will be run by the Service for Foreigners under the Bosnian security ministry; work began in December on the site of what used to be a sports area for migrants and refugees, an area that sits inside the camp.
Varhelyi was nominated for the post of commissioner by the Hungarian government of Viktor Orban, who has called refugees and migrants from the Middle East, Asia and Africa a threat to ‘Christian’ Europe.
Source : BalkanInsight