BRUSSELS – EU leaders will try on Sunday to fight immigrants on Europe's shores in search of a better life – a growing political crisis that threatens to undermine the entire EU
The leaders of some 16 countries – more than half of the 28-nation bloc – will take part in the "informal talks" in Brussels in the run-up to an EU summit on 28-29 October. Migration will be high on the agenda.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday that the meeting included "Talking to particularly concerned nations about all migration-related issues". They hope that we have "bi-, tri- or even multinational agreements to better solve certain problems."
The arrival of more than a million people in 2015, most of the refugees in Syria and Iraq, exposed blatant Shortcomings in the absorption capacity of the EU and the asylum laws. It has created tensions between Member States and anti-migrant parties have gained votes by fueling public fears of foreigners.
At the heart of the problem are deep differences over who should take responsibility for incoming migrants – often Mediterranean countries like Italy, Greece and increasingly Spain – how long they should be needed and what should be done to help the EU most affected Countries help.
The problem crystallized last week in a row between Italy's new populist government, Malta and France. Who should take responsibility for 630 people rescued from Libya from the Mediterranean, the most important starting point for people arriving in Europe?
In the midst of the slaughter, Spain's new socialist government agreed to take responsibility for the migrants.
On Friday, Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini again demanded that Malta, the EU's smallest country, land a rescue ship with hundreds of soldiers allowing migrants to land because they were in the waters of the island
Like everything else in the last Time has to do with migrants in Europe, this meeting proves to be controversial. What began as talks between half a dozen leaders now includes at least 16, as others demanded participation. Four Eastern European countries – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – refuse to participate.
Regarding hasty arrangements and a domestic migration policy crisis within the coalition government of Merkel, fervent anti-migrant Prime Minister Viktor Orban, said: "We understand that countries have domestic difficulties, but that can not lead to pan-European confusion . "
"This is an open invitation No one is excluded, everyone is invited No one is forced to," said Alexander Winterstein, spokesman for the European Commission, where the talks will take place.
With the plans to reform European asylum laws, EU leaders in the coming days will reaffirm their intention to stop migrants leaving the North African coasts by paying countries like Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia, to keep the population until their asylum claim is established.
Ironically, the tough conversation is that the number of migrants is dropping significantly. According to the UN refugee agency, about 80,000 people are expected to arrive by sea this year, about half of them by 2017.
"We do not have a pay crisis, we still have a crisis of political will," said UNHCR Europe chief Sophie Magennis on Monday.
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