Refugee crisis: Special summit in Sofia scheduled for May 2018

Written by on October 19, 2017 in Europe - Comments Off on Refugee crisis: Special summit in Sofia scheduled for May 2018

The European Union has scheduled a special summit on migration in the Western Balkans, which will take place in Sofia, in May of 2018. This meeting will be held during Bulgaria’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union, which will last from January to June.

At today’s E.U. summit in Brussels, the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, will introduce the E.U.’s summit agenda, will will include the Sofia summit. Until it happens, Tusk wants to make sure there are agreements on both the internal and external aspects of the Union’s migration policy.

Today, in Brussels, hardly anyone is expecting a breakthrough on any of the big question connected to the refugee crisis. This includes the quota system hardly any E.U. country likes. The increasing numbers of refugees from Africa and generally from Muslim countries is on the agenda today as well.

Also, the so-called E.U.-Africa Fund will be discussed. It looks like many E.U. member states have announced big payments into the fund, but most have not implemented those yet.

At least there is a draft for a declaration, which is supposed to be released after today’s summit in Brussels. It says, there had been some progress on the E.U.’s migration policy, but the right balance between responsibility and solidarity needed to be found.

What Turkey is concerned, no headway is expected either. According to diplomats, there are two groups of member states. One of them does not wish to change the Union’s position on Turkey, while countries like Austria, Germany and The Netherlands wanted to toughen their approach towards Ankara.

Apart from the May 2018 summit in Sofia, more big summits will be scheduled today. In September of 2018, Tusk wants a special summit on internal security in Vienna, for the heads of government and heads of state. And in the spring of 2019, he wants another summit in the Romanian town of Sibiu, in order to talk about the European Union’s priorities.

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