EU, Balkan leaders agreed on 17-point plan to manage inflow of migrants

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Who: European Union (EU) and Balkan leaders
Where: Brussels
What: Agreed to adopt a 17-point plan
When: 25 October 2015
Why: To cooperate on managing flows of migrants through the Balkan Peninsula

European Union (EU) and Balkan leaders on 25 October 2015 agreed to adopt a 17-point plan to cooperate on managing flows of migrants through the Balkan Peninsula.

The agreement was reached during a meet on migrants’ issue in Brussels, Belgium that was participated by heads of 11 EU states and three non-EU countries.

The nations that were present at the meeting at Commission’s Berlaymont Headquarters: Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia.

Agreed measures include
• EU agreed to set up new reception centres up to 100000 migrants, along the route from Greece toward Germany, half of them in Greece and half in countries to the north.
• Greece has committed to opening enough reception centres to house 30000 refugees by the end of the year 2015. UN refugee agency UNHCR will help provide at least 20000 more places in Greece.
• Additional reception centres for 50000 persons will come up in the Balkans countries, which became popular routes for the refugees heading to Germany and Scandinavia after Hungary sealed its border with Serbia and Croatia.
• They agreed to send 400 additional police officers to support Slovenia, which has been overwhelmed by the number of refugees crossing into the country from Croatia.
• The leaders also agreed that the EU border agency Frontex would step up activity on the Greek-Macedonian border to ensure people trying to cross would be registered. According to Frontex, over 7 lakh 10 thousand refugees have arrived in the European Union since the beginning of 2015. Since mid-September, nearly 250000 people have passed through the Balkans.

The agreement will help Greece and Balkan nations to cope with the raging refugee crisis, who are escaping war and poverty in their countries like Syria and other strife-torn regions.

Balkan Peninsula

The Balkan Peninsula, referred as the Balkans, is a geographical region of Southeast Europe. The region takes its name from the Balkan Mountains that stretch from the east of Serbia to the Black Sea at the east of Bulgaria.

The Balkans are generally considered to include, in whole or in part, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, the Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia, Romania, and the European part of Turkey.