EU Leaders meeting to set migrant plan
BRUSSELS – European Union leaders are set to approve a plan to relocate 120 000 migrants across the continent, despite fierce opposition from some members.
Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary voted against the mandatory quota scheme.
Wednesday’s emergency summit will also focus on tightening EU borders and boosting aid to neighbours of Syria, from where many migrants come.
EU leaders have struggled to find a co-ordinated response to the crisis.
British Prime Minster David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande held talks on the eve of the meeting, saying that finding a solution to the Syrian conflict would be key to resolving the migrant crisis.
They also agreed more should be done to return migrants who do not have a genuine claim for asylum, a Downing Street spokesman said.
The UK has opted against taking part in the relocation scheme and has its own plan to resettle migrants directly from Syrian refugee camps.
President Barack Obama said all European states should accept their “fair share” of asylum seekers, after talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
European Council President Donald Tusk has told EU leaders that this summit should focus on policies they can implement to help each other, rather than a long list of issues to use to blame each other.
It is both an appeal for practical progress, and an acknowledgement that the political atmosphere has become pretty toxic. (BBC)