Western Balkan countries are safe, says Dutch justice minister

Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia have been added to the Dutch list of safe countries, which means their nationals have no right to asylum in the Netherlands.

Junior justice minister Klaas Dijkhoff has added the countries to the official Dutch register ahead of the development of a EU-wide safe country list.

Dijkhoff hopes the decision will stop people from the Balkan countries coming to the Netherlands. Those who do can easily be sent back because most of the countries concerned are signatories to the EU’s refugee treaty on safe third countries, he told parliament in a briefing.

Last week, around 1,700 asylum seekers came to the Netherlands, most of whom were from Syria.

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