European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is convening an informal working meeting on migration and asylum issues in Brussels on June 24, bringing together leaders from eight European Union countries including Bulgaria.
The aim is to find a pan-European solution for changes in migration policy before the European Council meeting on June 28 and 29.
Those to attend the June 24 meeting include German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, French President Emmanuel Macron, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov and the heads of government of Greece, Italy, Spain and Malta.
A key issue is the reform of the Dublin Regulation, which is intended to regulate the return of asylum-seekers to the country where they first entered the EU.
EU countries have been at odds on which country should assume responsibility for arriving migrants and whether there should be mandatory quotas for the distribution of refugees.
The issue of swift changes in migration policy has been on the European agenda again in recent weeks after the new Italian populist government refused to admit the Aquarius rescue ship with 629 migrants on board.
European Council President Donald Tusk has already launched an idea to set up refugee distribution centres in North Africa. Only genuine asylum-seekers would be admitted to Europe from these centres and “economic migrants” would be returned to their countries of origin.
As Deutsche Welle reported, a political crisis in Germany over migration is threatening the ruling coalition, making finding a common European solution a priority for Chancellor Merkel as she heads into the EU leaders summit at the end of the month.