EU leaders struggle to reach migrant agreement at Brussels summit

European leaders struggled on Thursday evening to agree on action to cope with the migration crisis amid ever deepening divisions, impotence, and failure to follow through on earlier pledges.


While David Cameron’s campaign to refashion the terms of Britain’s EU membership occupied much of a critical EU summit, for many of the other leaders the immigration crisis loomed larger given that an estimated 1.2 million people have entered the EU mainly from the Middle East this year.


Leaders discussed incendiary proposals tabled by the European Commission this week creating an EU border and coast guard empowered to overrule national governments when the EU’s external frontiers are deemed to be inadequately secured.


The commission proposal won strong support on Thursday from the German and French leaders, but in many parts of the EU is viewed as an assault on the sovereignty of nation states. They agreed to come up with a position by next summer.


The summit, the fifth such meeting in a row to focus on the immigration emergency, revisited many of the measures heads of government and interior ministers have already decided since last spring without ever putting the decisions into effect.


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