“You are welcome to come to Belgium to work, study, visit relatives, spend money on Avenue Louise, visit Atomium or Brugge, the most beautiful city in the world, but don’t seek asylum in Belgium, emphasized Belgian Secretary of State Theo Francken during his visit in Tirana on Thursday. “Belgium is not the Eldorado, nor the country of milk and honey”, he insisted during a meeting with several Albanian authorities. He reiterated the words during a press conference and reminded the audience that Albanians who enter Belgian territory illegally are turned back immediately.
The Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration said that the reasons for travelling to Belgium for many Albanians were often unclear, as they often didn’t have the means to stay in the country, even for a short stay.
Since obtaining Visas became much easier for Albanian citizens seven years ago, the number of Albanians throughout European borders have increased substantially, including Belgium’s. They come with the hope to make themselves a better future.
Despite the easing of Visa grants, Francken’s message to Albanians thinking of coming to Belgium is that certain conditions still remain on getting a Visa, and also to inform or rather deter Albanians from moving to Belgium. He would like to see local authorities carry out more stringent border controls from the outset.