In 2015, the Western Balkans experienced an unprecedented movement of migrants and refugees headed towards the EU. This created a wider European challenge affecting both EU Member States and candidate countries located along their route, particularly Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Serbia's role has mainly been that of transit country; nevertheless, the migration flows have placed a humanitarian and financial strain on its asylum system. In a dynamic situation, lacking a coordinated EU approach countries have resorted to unilateral actions (such as introducing border controls and erecting fences) and tensions with neighbours have spiked. Serbia has thus had to adopt short-term measures to respond as best as it can. Following the EU-Turkey deal in March 2016, asylum applications in Serbia increased, creating an additional burden. Despite Serbia's less advanced asylum system, limited institutional and accommodation capacity and reported cases of human rights abuses, its open borders policy, political discourse and overall handling of the crisis have largely been considered positive.