Since the 19th of June until yesterday, 276,303 migrants have passed through Macedonia. Even with the announcements the EU have made, the country has only received 90,000 euros in aid, which amounts to roughly 20 denars per refugee, even though most European officials when passing through Skopje from Brussels always announce that they are doing more. This was the case yesterday, during the visit and meetings with the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, who suffered an intervention of his hosts.
From the official document we requested and received from the European Union, it is visable that so far the only realistic, factual help that Macedonia has received from the EU to deal with the refugee crisis is a mere 90,000 euros, money from the Fund for Disaster, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Money from this program, as outlined in the document, shows the humanitarian needs of about 4,600 people for three months.
Other amounts listed in the document of the EU as Union aid for Macedonia are only announced for additional financial support to be implemented in the future without specific time limits.
Therefore, 1.5 million euros of European aid will be provided to help refugees and migrants entering Macedonia and moving northward, as 1 million euros have been allocated to the Red Cross in Macedonia and Serbia together.
Within the national IPA Program for 2016, according to the document provided 12 million euros in aid to Macedonia, among other things, to improve the infrastructure, equipment and IT support for the proper functioning of the policies on asylum and migration on earth.
The President of the Council of the European Union (EU), Donald Tusk, who yesterday visited the country was told off by his host, President Gjorge Ivanov and Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski that “Macedonia had not received any financial and technical assistance from the EU “.
“Despite promises, Macedonia has not received any financial and technical assistance from the European Union, regarding the migrant and refugee crisis. Even though we asked the Union for equipment for the registration of migrants and refugees and equipment for state border surveillance, which we require, we received nothing. Macedonia has spent their own budget for managing this crisis. Just the needs for the the security services, we have so far spent more than 10 million. We are facing a shortage of material, technical capacity and human resources to respond to threats and risks to our own national security”, said President Ivanov after meeting with Tusk.
Donald Tusk, on the other hand, said the EU was ready to help Macedonia, on a much larger scale, but the Union first needs to assess how much help the country needs.
““We are ready to provide more after we assess the countries needs. I will speak with other member states about what more can be done in regard to ensure that our support for your country and for the region will be at the same level as the challenges you face. If we are serious and we want to keep the Schengen system and travel without visas, then we must be serious and help countries that are on the front lines, as yours”, Tusk said, adding that every country has the right and obligation to protect its border and that the main objective of the EU is not only to facilitate the transit of refugees, but also to reduce the flow.