EU nations boycott migration summit amid escalating tensions

Migrants and refugees wait to disembark from the Italian Coast Guard vessel Diciotti | Giovanni Isolino  AFP via Getty Images

Migrants and refugees wait to disembark from the Italian Coast Guard vessel Diciotti | Giovanni Isolino AFP via Getty Images

Europeans especially don't like immigration of Muslims, fearing the new arrivals might include militants planning acts of terror.

In Germany, Europe's leading economy and most powerful nation, Chancellor Angela Merkel differs sharply with her Interior Minister, Horst Seehofer, on the latter's call to block migrants already registered in another European Union country from entering Germany.

A failure to find agreement could threaten the EU's border-free travel area, one of the biggest accomplishments of the bloc's 60-year history.

The U.N.'s refugee agency forecasts that around 80,000 people will arrive to Europe by sea in 2018 if current trends continue - but the EU's political turmoil over the topic has soared.

Milanovic writes that "ethnic heterogeneity would. come from within in the form of migrants, people of different culture, religion, and most scary in the eyes of the locals, people whose birth rates significantly outstrip the anemic, or even negative, growth rates of the native population".

Plans to set up migrant reception centers in Albania are also under discussion.

"Others countries are even worse".

"Sunday will be a first exchange between interested and affected member states, no more and no less", she said at a regular Berlin press conference. The global view is that it would not be safe for them to return yet. But opinion polls show migration is the top concern of the EU's 500 million citizens.

It's also unclear how much the effort would cost, but the EU-Turkey deal has so far cost more than 3 billion euros ($3.5 billion).

A draft European Union statement on immigration will be withdrawn following a "misunderstanding" over the text, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Thursday after talking to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Merkel instead is pushing for bilateral and trilateral deals to cope with short-term migration pressures.

Another from French President Emmanuel Macron is to establish closed camps inside Europe where migrants could await the outcome of their claims.

Migrants mostly stay in arrival countries like Greece and Italy or the wealthy ones where they try to start a new life.

United Nations data shows only some 41,000 people have made it to the European Union across the sea this year but opinion polls show migration is the top concern for the EU's 500 million citizens.

His appeal came as migration tensions surged on the Mediterranean itself. Last year, Italy made a similar bargain with Libya.

Merkel is seeking a way to redistribute already-arrived migrants across the continent.

Aid groups say conditions for migrants on the shores of lawless Libya are atrocious and accuse Italy of being complicit in the abuse of those migrants. There are exceptions. Spain, which has had relatively low immigration from North Africa, accepted over 600 migrants from a stranded ship, the Aquarius, that Italy and Malta had turned away.

The migrant situation has threatened to worsen in recent weeks, with Italy's new populist government refusing to let ships carrying hundreds of migrants dock at its ports.

"This is about reducing the illegal migration to Europe", in addition to movement within Europe, Merkel said ahead of the meeting. Four countries in Eastern Europe - the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia - have refused to attend and reject taking in migrants in general.

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