The migration crisis rocking Europe has seriously brought into question the Schengen Agreement and if it fails, Western Balkan countries will feel it the most, Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak said in an interview with Bosnia and Herzegovina's Nezavisne Novine daily.
Whenever we lack a credible strategy on the European level, countries adopt decisions for themselves, which shows how important it is for the European Union to produce a realistic and feasible strategy for dealing with the immigration issue, and I'm afraid the citizens of the Western Balkans could pay the highest price, Lajcak was quoted as saying.
He said many unrealistic solutions had been proposed so far which only made the situation more difficult but that, despite the difficulties, he was certain that a feasible solution would eventually be found, acceptable to all EU member states, because reality had caught up with those politicians who would not acknowledge it.
Lajcak said the key was in protecting the external borders of the Schengen Area and registering the refugees who appeared there.
Asked if the current crisis would lead to the EU's disintegration, Lajcak said he did not think it would happen.
The EU will be here because every member state needs it, he added.
Commenting on announcements from Sarajevo that Bosnian authorities will apply for EU membership candidate status on February 15, Lajcak indirectly said the conditions for that had not been met but that circumstances could change if by then agreement was reached on a mechanism for coordinating relations with the EU.
Lajcak directly warned the authorities of Bosnia's Serb entity to stop threatening with referendums, such as the one on the work of the Bosnian State Court and Prosecutor's Office. If the referendum is held, the position of the EU and the international community will be negative and have serious repercussions, he said, adding that the referendum would not solve the judiciary issue.