On 25 October, President Juncker convened a Leaders Meeting on refugee flows along the Western Balkans route to address the unfolding emergency situation.
The objective was to improve cooperation, step up consultation between the countries along the route and take pragmatic operational measures to tackle the refugee crisis. Leaders representing Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia agreed on a 17-point Action Plan.
By the end of October, nearly 700,000 people had travelled along the Western Balkans route from Greece to Central Europe. By end of December, the figure stood at 760,000.
Weekly meetings organised by the Commission have taken place to monitor the 17-point plan agreed at the Leaders’ Meeting hosted by President Juncker on refugee flows along the Western Balkans route.
At a time when communications had all but broken down, this coordination has been crucial in reducing the risk of unexpected steps being taken in one country having an impact on another. This has been backed up with direct support.