European leaders meet for emergency talks on Balkan refugee crisis

European leaders met Sunday at an emergency summit in Brussels to discuss the handling of tens of thousands of migrants passing through the Balkans to western parts of Europe.

At the summit, 11 EU and Balkan leaders met seeking solutions to the current situation, which has been described as the continent’s greatest immigration crisis since World War II. Nearly 250,000 refugees have passed through the Balkans since mid-September, according to the Associated Press.

“Extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres called on the European Union to devise a new system to register and screen migrants when they first arrive.

Croatian prime minister Zoran Milanović said Greece needed to assert more control of the water between its islands and Turkey, which has been one of the main entry points for migrants. (Nearly 11,500 migrants crossed into the country Saturday, the highest in a single day since Hungary put up a fence and refugees started coming into Croatia in mid-September.)

Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar said Slovenia was also overwhelmed by refugees, with 60,000 arriving in the last 10 days alone. He said the country wasn’t receiving enough help from its EU partners.

Cerar said a continued failure to act would signal “the beginning of the end of the European Union and Europe as such.”

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