European Migration and Diversity

EPC in the refugee crisis debate


The refugee crisis - The Balkans' perspective

7 October 2015


Co-organised by the European Policy Centre (EPC) and the European Fund for the Balkans, this Policy Dialogue considered the ongoing refugee crisis from the perspective of the Balkan countries. Tens of thousands of people from the Middle East and Africa have been passing through two candidate countries in the Balkans –the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Serbia – to re-enter the EU through Hungary and Croatia, on their way to the richer Northern Europe. Serving as a transit route for the influx of refugees, the Balkan countries – just like their EU neighbours – are simultaneously offering help, struggling to cope with logistical hurdles, panicking, and closing borders. The call for collective action in response to this situation could not be clearer. With a High Level Conference on the Eastern Mediterranean-Western Balkans route due to take place later in the same week, a panel of experts from the Balkans and the EU discussed the key challenges presented by the crisis; how the Balkan countries have been responding; and what can be done in these countries and at the EU level to strengthen cooperation and find long-term solutions.

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