THE HAGUE —On December 8, the House of Representatives of the Netherlands adopted a resolution calling on its government to advocate in Brussels for the temporary suspension of the visa-free regime for Serbia, if Serbia does not align with the visa and foreign policy of the EU.

The proposal had the support of both the ruling coalition and opposition MPs. It was submitted by MPs from the two largest parties of the ruling coalition, Jeoren van Wijngaarden from the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and Sjörd Sjördsma from Democrats 66. However, the proposal was co-initiated by the representative of the opposition Socialist Party (SP), Jasper van Dijk .

MP Jeoren van Wijngaarden shared on Twitter that his proposal received the support of the House of Representatives of the Dutch Parliament.

“House of Representatives supports our proposal for a stricter approach to Serbia if President Vučić does not support sanctions against Russia. Cessation of Serbia’s EU accession process could become an option. We will not hesitate to use it,” said Van Wijngaarden.

The day before the initiation of the resolution in the parliament, State Secretary for Justice and Security Erik van der Burg answered Van Wijngaarden’s parliamentary questions about increased migration through Serbia. He said that the government “shares European Commissioner Johansson’s concern about the increased flow through Serbia and sees the need to oppose the flow through the Western Balkans,” but also welcomes the steps taken by Serbia in terms of harmonization with EU visa policy and will continue to monitor development of the situation, and to exert pressure if necessary.

In the institutional system of the Netherlands, the Parliament has the mandate to give guidelines to the Government for conducting foreign policy. For example, when the Netherlands blocked the opening of negotiations with Albania, the initiative came from the parliament.

The resolution of the Dutch Parliament calls for the suspension of the visa-free regime for Serbia through the emergency brake mechanism by March 2023 the latest, “given that Serbia is increasingly undermining the EU’s foreign policy due to its benevolent attitude towards Russia and non-compliance with EU sanctions.” but also the non-harmonization of the visa regime, which is why during 2022 a large number of irregular migrants crossed into the EU from Serbia.

According to the Treaty of Lisbon, there are two types of this procedure in the European Union. One that is related to the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the other that applies in other areas, such as cooperation in the fight against crime and social security.