EU leaders are set to declare that the Balkan refugee route is closed

The Balkan route, used by hundreds of thousands of refugees to reach northern European countries after they reach Greece, will be closed.

European Union leaders are set to announce the move on Monday POLITICO reports.

According to POLITICO, EU ambassadors discussed the plan on Sunday afternoon and in a document seen by journalists agreed that “Irregular flows of migrants along the Western Balkans route are coming to an end; this route is now closed.”

The statement is set to be approved by EU leaders on Monday at a summit with Turkish officials in Brussels.

Last week, Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, met with leaders from countries all along the Balkan route and appealed to economic migrants not to come to Europe, as he warned that “No European country will be a transit country.”

Europe is still scrambling to present a unified front and find a pan-European solution to the refugee crisis.

According to POLITICO, the EU leaders’ aim is to return to a normal situation within the Schengen area by December. Over the last week, EU officials had once again reiterated that the priority should be to secure the external border of the bloc in order for internal borders to remain open.

As the European Union tries to tackle the biggest migrant crisis it has been faced with since World War Two, it also seeks Turkey’s help to stem the flow of refugees and is pressuring Ankara to hold up its part of a $3 billion deal struck a few months ago. Turkey has already agreed to take back Syrians rescued at sea.

According to data from the UNHCR, more than 138,000 migrants have already reached European shores this year, and 410 people have died while attempting the crossing of the Aegean Sea.

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