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Thursday, 22 October 2015 - 15:56
EU calls mini-summit on refugee crisis as Slovenia tightens border
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Serbia and Macedonia have been invited to Sunday’s meeting in Brussels as the EU seeks ‘greater cooperation and more consultation’

The European Union has called a mini summit with Balkan countries on the migrant crisis as Slovenia became the latest state to buckle under a surge of refugees desperate to reach northern Europe before winter.

The leaders of Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Romania and Slovenia will meet in Brussels on Sunday with their counterparts from non-EU states Macedonia and Serbia.

“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,” a statement said.

The continent has been struggling to find a unified response on how to tackle its biggest migration crisis since 1945.

More than 600,000 migrants and refugees, mainly fleeing violence in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, have braved the dangerous journey to Europe so far this year, the UN said.

Of these, more than 3,000 have drowned or gone missing as they set off from Turkey in inflatable boats seeking to reach Greece, the starting point for the migrants’ long trek north.

With the crisis showing no sign of abating, France’s interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve reinforced security in the port city of Calais from where migrants and refugees try to cross to Britain.

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