Thousands of refugees are arriving wave upon wave on European shores in the Mediterranean. People fleeing from war torn regions, mainly from the Middle East, are trying to find shelter in rich European nations.
For these migrants, it is either flee or die. Their sheer numbers are challenging our continent's ability to respond, plus it poses a hot topic for a debate.
The phenomenon is not new; in fact it has been increasingly worsening for the past few years. But while in the past it was mainly Italy, Spain, Malta and Greece that bared the bulk of refugee numbers, today we observe every single European nation being affected by it.
Just over the weekend, thousands of refugees were pushed back by police in FYROM, on the country's borders with Greece. Bulgaria, Slovakia, Hungary are also finding themselves being overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of people entering their borders, with mixed responses.
But even countries away from Europe's doorstep are being affected. The French port of Calais has become a hot-spot in the continent's migrant crisis, since thousands are arriving in the region trying to enter illegally in the UK.
Europe has been very slow to respond until now, simply because the problem affected predominantly the southern bordering states. In addition to this, the numbers of the refugees were lower plus many of them were falsely categorized as economic migrants from Africa.
Only recently EU members have agreed to share the load of refugees that were entering Europe via Greece and Italy, after many failed attempts to reach to an agreement. In mid-August the process has started, yet the negotiations exposed the cracks in European "unity".
The EU has proposed a quota system, backed by southern nations, which would see other EU nations commit to resettle a certain number of refugees who arrive in Mediterranean countries.
As negotiations took place in early July, Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi lashed out at fellow EU leaders for rejecting the quotas, and accused his peers of looking after only their own interests. (International Business Times).
"If that's your idea of Europe, you can keep it," Renzi told his counterparts. "Either give us solidarity or don't waste our time," according to Australia's ABC News.