Markus Schreiber, Pool)., Associated Press
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, center, and the Prime Minister of German Saxony State, Stanislaw Tillich, right, listen to watchmaker Margit Zoellner, left, during their visit for the official opening of the new watch manufactory of A. Lange and Soehne watch makers in Glasshuette, near Dresden, Germany, Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015.

Record numbers of migrants fleeing violence and poverty in countries such as Syria, Afghanistan and Eritrea are trying to reach Europe this year, despite the risks of perilous sea crossings and little humanitarian assistance. Here are the latest developments Wednesday:

AUSTRIA: German Chancellor Angela Merkel is joining Western Balkan leaders for a summit focused on migration, anti-extremism and regional cooperation.

The meeting on Thursday will also be attended by EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini. Already in Vienna are the government heads of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, along with other government ministers from those EU-aspirant countries.

Many of the migrants entering the European Union use the so-called Balkan route, leading through Macedonia and Serbia into Hungary and then to Austria, Germany and other EU nations.

NORWAY: Police in the far northeastern part of Norway say migrants, mainly from Syria, are crossing from Russia on bicycles because the sole border crossing is for drivers only, not for pedestrian.

Hans Moellebakken, police chief in Kirkenes, some 2,500 kilometers (1,550 miles) northeast of Oslo, says the number of migrants crossing has risen from a dozen last year to 140 so far this year.

Moellebakken said Thursday they believe "it is organized to some degree" with people in Russia selling bikes to refugees hoping to reach Norway, a non-member of the European Union Scandinavian, to seek asylum.

BRITAIN: Official figures show Britain gained a record 329,000 people through migration in the year to March 31 — a headache for Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron's government which aims to reduce net migration below 100,000.

The Office for National Statistics said Thursday that 636,000 people arrived during the 12 months and 307,000 left. There were 25,771 asylum applications in the 12 months to June 2015, the highest 12-month figure since 2009.

Immigration has climbed up the political agenda this summer as migrants from the Middle East, Africa and Asia attempt to reach Europe in unprecedented numbers. The Institute of Directors, an employers' group, has said the government's attempts to curb immigration were harming Britain's reputation as an open economy.