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The European Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement, OlivérVárhelyi, announced that Serbia will again require visas for citizens of Burundi “as of today” and for those of Tunisia as of 20 November.

Welcoming Belgrade’s decision, Várhelyisaid he hoped to see new measures that “align with the European Union (EU) list of third countries subject to visa requirements.” Switzerland’s Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP) welcomed the “change in policy” which is “partly in line with the Schengen visa policy.”

According to several media reports, several EU and Schengen member states, including Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Belgium, had intervened with the European Commission and called on it to take measures to encourage Serbia to reintroduce visas for nationals of certain third countries who travel to Serbia without visas and then continue their journey to the EU with the help of smugglers.