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E.U. Summit

Race to Reach an Asylum Deal

European Union ministers today will try to hammer out a deal on a fairer relocation of asylum seekers ahead of a leaders’ summit tomorrow. If Eastern European countries won’t play ball, they could be outvoted.


Merkel and Schulz waiting dpa

The refugee crisis has the European Union in complete disarray, with an incoherent asylum system and unseemly squabbles about taking in refugees pointing to a lack of leadership and unity.

The 28-member bloc is holding a series of emergency meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday to try to find a way out of the mess, and reach an agreement on how to relocate some 120,000 refugees.

Those fleeing conflict in parts of Africa and the Middle East, who have reached the European continent are being shunted and buffeted from country to country, at the mercy of contradictory and confusing policies and measures. The chaos has revealed the complete lack of an asylum system that is fit for purpose.

European Union interior ministers are meeting in Brussels today tasked with reaching an agreement ahead of a gathering of leaders on Wednesday.

“The likelihood of a deal does not look good at the moment but nevertheless I think a deal will emerge,” said Christof Roos, a professor of migration and diversity at the Institute for European Studies of the Brussels-based university, Vrije Universiteit.

The ministers want to find a way to relocate 120,000 people from the frontline states of Greece, Italy and Hungary.

If they cannot reach a unanimous deal, ministers could force a deal through by a majority vote.

Enough countries are reportedly in favor of the proposal to form a majority, although every effort will be made to reach a compromise.

“This is a difficult thing to do, because it affects a theme of national importance, but it is possible now,” Mr. Roos told Handelsblatt Global Edition.

According to the Brussels-based news website, the EUObserver, which has seen the draft proposal to be discussed today, plans to impose financial penalties on countries that refused to take in refugees have been dropped.

To continue reading this story, click here to go to Handelsblatt Global Edition.

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Siobhan Dowling und Gilbert Kreijger

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