Exclusive freedom : visa liberalisation and Roma migration in the western Balkans
This thesis deals with the consequences of visa liberalisation in the Western Balkans, with a particular focus on Serbia and Macedonia. As a reaction to the significant increase of allegedly unfounded asylum applications by citizens of the Western Balkans in several EU countries, which according to the European Commission mostly stem from Roma, the countries have adopted a series of measures to comply with EU demands, “to reduce the influx of asylum seekers.” The main focus of the thesis is a critical examination of the specific measures the countries have adopted as a reaction to EU pressure, in particular the use of ethnic profiling at the borders as a violation of the principle of non-discrimination as well as violations of the right to leave one’s country and the right to seek asylum. Moreover, the thesis critically examines EU responsibility and argues that the Commission has instructed the governments, to de facto discriminate against their Roma population. In addition to assessing the possible violations of human rights, this thesis aims at analysing the underlying dynamics of the main elements of EU migration policy which are securitisation and the externalisation of migration control and which are both evident in the visa liberalisation process.