Teams of the European border guard agency Frontex will soon be deployed on the border between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in response to the pressure of migrants travelling westwards, EU Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis said on Thursday.
However, Andriukaitis added that the brunt of responsibility for managing the border lies primarily with Sarajevo and Zagreb.
"Negotiations with Bosnia and Herzegovina concerning the deployment of Frontex teams have been completed, and an agreement will be signed soon. That agreement will enable border police to manage the border between Bosnia and Croatia... However, the most important responsibility is in the hands of those two countries," Andriukaitis said during a debate on migrants in Bosnia stuck near the border with Croatia, which doubles as the external border of the European Union.
Andriukaitis added that there are currently 5,139 migrants and asylum seekers housed in centres in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including some 3,100 are located in northwestern Bosnia near the border with Croatia.
In addition, about 1,000 migrants have still not requested assistance, he said in a plenary session of the European Parliament dedicated to the issue of migrants in Bosnia, moved by Croatian MEP Ivan Jakovcic (IDS/ALDE).
Andriukaitis said that since June this year the European Union had allocated around €2 million to Bosnia in humanitarian aid, and another €7.2 million through special measures and funding and pre-membership support, and that the funds are disbursed with the assistance of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), UNHCR and Unicef.