Skip to main content /WORLD
CNN.com /WORLD
CNN TV
EDITIONS

EU crackdown on people smuggling

Immigrants
Thousands of immigrants want to enter Europe.  

BRUSSELS, Belgium -- The European Union has vowed to step up the fight against gangs who smuggle illegal immigrants for cash.

The Balkan route is often used by organised gangs to move thousands of economic migrants and asylum seekers from China, Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Romania into Europe.

According to the EU, as many as 200,000 illegal Chinese migrants may be sheltering in Yugoslavia waiting to be smuggled in to Europe.

Greece says it has boatloads of illegal immigrants arriving every day from the Balkans.

  MESSAGE BOARD
 
  ALSO
Ireland tackles refugee influx
 

On Thursday, EU justice and home affairs ministers agreed to send a delegation led by Swedish Asylum and Immigration Minister Maj-Inger Klingvall to Belgrade and Sarajevo later this month to press for more co-operation from authorities.

"The minister will send a strong political message that the EU takes this problem very seriously," a source said.

"The situation there is very bad, but it can be resolved if both sides make an effort."

Britain is heading a Europe-wide initiative, co-ordinating up to 40 immigration and police officers in the region to help train local authorities on how to check visa validity and identify forged passports.

The European Commission is considing funding projects aimed at closing the Balkan route through the bloc's regional stability programmes.

The issue comes as the EU prepares to embrace up to a dozen new members, many of them located in key transit routes for drug and human smuggling.

Reuters contributed to this report.



RELATED STORIES:
Nine travel hidden under Eurostar
March 2, 2001
Eurotunnel to beef up security
February 21, 2001
Refugees taste French liberty
February 21, 2001
Spain gets tough on immigration
February 20, 2001
Europe's tangle over immigration
February 20, 2001
Europe acts on illegal immigration
February 9, 2001

RELATED SITE:
European Union

Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.



 Search   

WORLD
U.S. 'ready to talk' with N. Korea

Death toll nears 1,000 in South Asia's cold spell

IAEA: Year for Iraq inspections

U.S. doubles forces in Persian Gulf

Mugabe resignation offer proposed

OPEC to raise daily oil output

(MORE)


[CNN.com] TOP STORIES
N. Y. plans to heal skyline

Stocks rise on Case departure

Lieberman's presidential announcement today

New arrests may be linked to UK ricin scare

(MORE)

[CNN Money] BUSINESS
Playing for Iraq's jackpot

Coke & smoke bite Dow

Sun Microsystems posts tiny profit

(MORE)

MARKETS
4:30pm ET, 4/16
144.70
8257.60
3.71
1394.72
10.90
879.91
 

[SI.com] SPORTS
Jordan says farewell for the third time

Shaq could miss playoff game for child's birth

Ex-USOC official says athletes bent drug rules

(MORE)

> All Scoreboards

WEATHER
All cities

U.S.
10,000 refugees from Burundi coming to U.S.

ALLPOLITICS
Foley will name alleged abuser

LAW
Stunned relatives pack Iowa courtroom

SCI-TECH
Apple: Virus wormed into some iPods

ENTERTAINMENT
Rock 'n' roll genius getting his licks at 80

HEALTH
Seafood benefits outweigh risks, government says

TRAVEL
Machu Picchu can wait

CAREER
A well-balanced 'Day on the Job'

-> (MORE HEADLINES)


Back to the top