A surge of desperate migrants from the Middle East and Africa has put unprecedented pressure on EU countries, especially Italy, Greece and Hungary.
More than 350,000 migrants were detected at the EU’s borders in January-August 2015, compared with 280,000 detections for the whole of 2014.
That 350,000 figure – an estimate from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) – does not include the many who got in undetected.
The conflicts raging in Syria and Afghanistan, and abuses in Eritrea, are major drivers of the migration.
More than 2,600 migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean this year, trying to reach Greece or Italy, the IOM says.
Many attempt the perilous Western Balkans route, hoping to reach Germany and other northern EU countries. They run the gauntlet of brutal people traffickers and robbers.