Parliamentary question by Olivier Dupuis (TDI) to the Commission and answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission
WRITTEN QUESTION E-2941/00
by Olivier Dupuis (TDI) to the Commission
(19 September 2000)
Subject: People's Republic of China and Serbia
According to various well informed sources, some fifty to sixty thousand nationals of the People's Republic of China now live in Belgrade and Serbia, their number growing exponentially. According to the same sources, Serbia has become the main point of entry into Europe by illegal immigrants from the People's Republic of China and there is complicity in some areas, if not agreements, between the authorities in Belgrade and Beijing and Mafia organisations operating in the two countries.
Does the Commission have precise details of what appears to be, to say the least, a worrying phenomenon? If so, what action has the Commission taken, or what action does it propose to take, to combat what, in many respects, might be the starting point for an attempt at large-scale destabilisation?
Answer given by Mr Patten
on behalf of the Commission
(24 October 2000)
The Commission has no direct information on the numbers of Chinese citizens living in Belgrade or Serbia, or on whether there are any agreements between Belgrade and Beijing in this regard. However, it is true closer relations between the former regime and Beijing had resulted in official visits and generous entry conditions for Chinese nationals, who are active in the small business sector in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY). This presence, combined with logistical difficulties in management of the FRY-Republika Srpska and the FRY-Croatia border, makes Belgrade an important entry point for trafficking in human beings.
The two main reasons for this flow are the liberalisation of Chinese nationals' possibility to travel and the liberal entry policy practised by FRY - both of which are difficult for the Community to tackle. However, during his meeting with the President of the Commission on 11 July 2000, the Chinese Prime Minister addressed the issue of illegal immigration, including trafficking in human beings, and the need to co-operate with the Union. The Commission is currently discussing with Member States what activities to prevent and combat illegal migration could be suggested to the Chinese authorities. We will also wish to take this matter up with the new authorities in the FRY.
Apart from such bilateral discussions, action must be taken in global fora. The Office of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina - to which the Union is the principal financial contributor - has been instrumental in establishing a border service in Bosnia and Herzegovina operated at national level. This step is an important element in improving border controls. On the regional level, within the framework of the Stability Pact, the Union will support initiatives on security issues, especially the work currently under way on the development of asylum and migration systems. Because of the nature of the issue, in addition, the Union and the Commission specifically, actively participate in wider international co-operation against trafficking including in the context of the group of eight most industrialised countries (G8), the Organisation for security and co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Council of Europe and the United Nations (e.g. draft convention on transnational organised crime and the three additional protocols, one of which concerns trafficking).
Members and contributors 2013
|Giuseppe R. Roma||590 €|
|Salvatore P. Capistrello||200 €|
|Giancarlo B. Torino||30 €|
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