EC President calls urgent meeting on Western Balkans refugee route


European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has called for Sunday afternoon in Brussels a meeting of the leaders of the countries intersected by the Balkan refugee route so as to agree on measures that can be put in place immediately, the European Commission said on Wednesday.

“In view of the unfolding emergency in the countries along the Western Balkans migratory route, there is a need for much greater cooperation, more extensive consultation and immediate operational action. Following discussions with several leaders, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has therefore called a Leaders’ Meeting on 25 October to discuss the refugee flows along the Western Balkans route,” reads a statement the EC published on Wednesday.

Attending the meeting will be the heads of state or government of Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia. The President of the European Council, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and officials from the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex) and the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) have also been invited to the meeting.

The meeting will start at 4pm and will continue at 7pm with a working dinner at the EC headquarters.

“The objective of the meeting will be to agree common operational conclusions which could be immediately implemented,” the statement said.