Countries Along Western Balkans Migratory Route Nominate Contact PointsEU | October 27, 2015, Tuesday // 13:50| views
Leaders pose for a family picture during summit to discuss refugee flows along the Western Balkans route, at EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, 25 October 2015. Photo: EPA
Countries along the Western Balkans migratory route have nominated national contact points, as had been agreed at the leaders' meeting in Brussels on Sunday.
At the meeting, the leaders of the eleven participating countries and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who had convened the summit, agreed to nominate contact points within 24 hours.
Contact points will allow daily exchanges and coordination to achieve the gradual, controlled and orderly movement of people along the Western Balkans migratory route.
They will also be responsible for monitoring the implementation of the 17-point plan, which had been agreed on Sunday.
All leaders have fulfilled their commitment and have nominated contact points within the agreed time frame.
Bulgaria has nominated Petya Parvanova, who is Advisor to Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Rumyana Bachvarova.
Parvanova shortly served as Interior Minister in the caretaker government of Prime Minister Marin Raykov in 2013, becoming the first woman ever to hold the position.
Juncker has nominated Richard Szostak, the Diplomatic Advisor in his Cabinet, as the contact point for the Commission.
The meeting at the level of Heads of State or Government gathered the leaders of Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia.
European Parliament President Martin Schulz, European Council President Donald Tusk, the incumbent Luxembourg Presidency and the future Dutch Presidency of the Council of the EU and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) also attended the meeting.
Representatives of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) and Frontex also participated in the meeting.
The leaders agreed to improve cooperation and step up consultation and decided on pragmatic operational measures that could be implemented immediately to tackle the refugee crisis in the region.
The Commission will organise a plenary video conference with all contact points on Thursday to check on the progress made.
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