Splits within the EU on the relocation of
120,000 migrants have been further exposed
as leaders gather for an emergency meeting
Slovakia is launching a legal challenge to
mandatory quotas that were passed in a
majority vote on Tuesday.
Hungary’s PM defended its “democratic
rights” and proposed a radical budgetary
revamp to raise funds.
The summit will focus on tightening EU
borders and aiding neighbours of Syria, from
where many migrants come.
Migrant crisis: Latest updates
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
The UK has opted against taking part in the
relocation scheme and has its own plan to
resettle migrants directly from Syrian refugee
Ahead of the summit on Wednesday, the
European Commission set out proposals for
managing the refugee crisis. They include:
Rolling out support teams to migrant
Restoring free movement in the Schengen
zone. A number of members have recently
introduced border controls
The issuing of warnings to 19 member
states for failing to follow asylum
A proposal of an additional €1.7bn
($1.9bn; £1.24bn) in funds to tackle the
crisis. This includes:
Mobilising €1bn to help Turkey
Increasing humanitarian aid by €300m
Increasing funding to the Frontex,
Europol and European Asylum Support
The scale of the problem was highlighted
again on Wednesday when Croatia revealed
that 44,000 migrants – including 8,750 on
Tuesday – had arrived on its soil since
Hungary completed a fence along its border
with Serbia last week.
Analysis: Chris Morris, BBC Europe
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.
Several leaders will arrive in Brussels angry
that their governments have been outvoted on
the issue of relocating tens of thousands of
refugees. But Mr Tusk will be keen to avoid
Instead he wants to focus on improving the
security of the EU’s external borders, and
ensuring that failed asylum seekers get sent
home more efficiently.
Most of all though there will be emphasis on
increasing funding for UN agencies that deal
with refugees in countries bordering Syria,
and on closer cooperation with, and more
assistance for, Turkey. It is housing more
than 2m Syrian refugees, and has become the
main gateway into Europe.
Relocation deal explained
Hungary proposes its own deal
Why central Europe says ‘No’
In a rare move for an issue involving national
sovereignty, EU interior ministers approved
the resettlement scheme on Tuesday by
majority vote rather than unanimous
EU Migration and Home Affairs Commissioner
Dimitris Avramopoulos denied this was
harmful to the EU, saying as he arrived for
the leaders’ summit on Wednesday: “On the
contrary, it is a victory for the EU and for all
The deal will see thousands of migrants
moved from Italy and Greece to other EU
countries. A proposal to take 54,000 migrants
from Hungary was dropped.
Finland abstained from the vote. Poland,
which had originally opposed the proposal,
voted for it.
But its opponents have lashed out. On
Wednesday, Slovakia announced a legal
Prime Minister Robert Fico said: “We will go
in two directions: first one, we will file a
charge at the [European Court of Justice] in
Luxembourg… secondly, we will not
implement the [decision] of the interior
Hungarian PM Viktor Orban insisted his
country had a “democratic right” to a
different approach and rejected what he
called German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s
Czech President Milos Zeman said on Tuesday
that “only the future will show what a
mistake this was”.
However, Czech PM Bohuslav Sobotka said on
Wednesday it would not launch a court
challenge, adding: “Europe must not fall apart
on the migration crisis.”
Romania said it could manage its allocation
but President Klaus Iohannis insisted
mandatory quotas were not the answer.
EU governments could face financial penalties
for failing to implement European laws.
The UN has warned that the relocation alone
would not be enough to stabilise the
Close to 480,000 migrants have arrived in
Europe by sea this year, and are now
reaching European shores at a rate of nearly
6,000 a day.
Who are the 120,000?
All are migrants “in clear need of
international protection” to be resettled
from Italy and Greece to other EU member
15,600 from Italy, 50,400 from Greece in
the first year, and a further 54,000 from
those countries later dependent on the
Initial screening of asylum applicants
carried out in Greece and Italy
Syrians, Eritreans, Iraqis prioritised
Financial penalty of 0.002% of GDP for
those member countries refusing to
accept relocated migrants
Relocation to accepting countries depends
on size of economy and population,
average number of asylum applications
Transfer of individual applicants within
Source: European Commission
How is migrant crisis dividing EU?
EU migration: Crisis in graphics
A note on terminology: The BBC uses the term
migrant to refer to all people on the move
who have yet to complete the legal process of
claiming asylum. This group includes people
fleeing war-torn countries such as Syria, who
are likely to be granted refugee status, as well
as people who are seeking jobs and better
lives, who governments are likely to rule are
Splits within the EU on the relocation of