The escalating crisis across the continent has dominated headlines in recent weeks, and now the Hollywood actress, who is a United Nations special envoy for refugees, has joined the debate and urged governments to open their borders.

Jolie has teamed up with politician Baroness Arminka Helic, who came to Britain as a refugee in the 1990s after fleeing the war in Yugoslavia, to write a joint letter published in the U.K.'s The Times newspaper on Monday (07Sep15).

In the message, they write, "At no time in recent history has there been a greater need for leadership to deal with the consequences and causes of the global refugee crisis. Nothing brings home this truth more than the sight of columns of refugees marching across European borders, from countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria... Over the past few weeks we have seen many members of the public and growing numbers of political leaders take a moral stand, groups of refugees being welcomed, and new commitments of assistance made. For the first time in years, refugees are leading the news and are at the forefront of debate... We need to build on this and make it a turning point... It requires us to use not just our hearts but also our heads and not just aid but also diplomacy, and to focus our efforts not just this year, but for years to come... The way we respond now will confirm what kind of countries we are, the depth of our humanity and the strength of our democracies."

Jolie's message comes just days after veteran rocker Bob Geldof offered to open his home up to refugee families, declaring he could provide shelter right away for anyone needing help.