On 28 November 2012, members of ESI's "White List Project" Advisory Board met in Rome. They discussed how to move forward on visa liberalisation with Turkey and how to react to the new increase in asylum seekers from the Western Balkans.
Chairman Giuliano Amato, former prime minister and former interior minister of Italy, and Otto Schily, former interior minister of Germany provided ESI's Gerald Knaus and Alexandra Stiglmayer with new ideas and support how to tackle the challenges ahead.
The group also had meetings with Anna Maria Cancellieri, Italy's interior minister, and Franco Frattini, a former Italian foreign minister and former European Commissioner for Justice, Liberty and Security.
Concerning Turkey, the EU is due to soon finalise a roadmap that will set the conditions that Turkey needs to meet in order to qualify for visa liberalisation. As regards the Western Balkans, after the visa requirement was lifted in 2009 and 2010 for a total of five countries, the number of asylum seekers from this countries increased. There has been a new increase in 2012, above the numbers registered in 2010 and 2011.
ESI is grateful to the Stiftung Mercator for supporting the meetings in Rome and other activities in relation to visa liberalisation for Turkey.
For more information, visit ESI's website on Europe's Border Revolution and the Schengen White List Project.