EU, Turkey to Hold Migration Summit

EU, Turkey to Hold Migration Summit EU, Turkey to Hold Migration Summit

The EU is to hold a special summit with Turkey on the migration crisis in early March, officials have announced.

“The EU-Turkey action plan is our priority,” European Council President Donald Tusk said after late-night talks at an EU gathering in Brussels.

The EU has pledged €3 billion ($3.3 billion) to Turkey in return for housing refugees on its territory, BBC reported.

More than a million people arrived in the EU in 2015, creating Europe’s worst refugee crisis since World War Two.

Austria is introducing daily caps from Friday on migrants arriving on its southern border despite a warning that quotas do not comply with EU legislation.

On Thursday, about 900 migrants were rescued near the Greek island of Lesbos, the EU border agency Frontex said.

Speaking in Brussels well after midnight, Tusk said a “European consensus” on how to tackle the refugee crisis was needed.

“We must do all we can to succeed. This is why we have the intention to organize a special meeting with Turkey at the beginning of March,” he said.

Tusk said he would now hold a series of bilateral meetings with EU leaders to further discuss the issue. He said decisions must ultimately be made by each EU member, but stressed that such moves must be guided by common EU laws.

Echoing his words, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the EU-Turkey action plan “is something we will be concentrating on”.

Merkel said the number of migrants trying to reach Europe had dropped in recent months, but warned that there was a “clear danger” of a new influx in spring because of warmer weather.