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A child eats an apple as he waits next to a border crossing in Serbia

Migrant Crisis To Dominate Summit Of EU Leaders

WT24 Desk

European Union leaders have gathered in Brussels for a summit at which the ongoing migrant crisis is likely to dominate, Sky News reports.

David Cameron has joined the leaders of the other 27 member states for the fourth successive council dealing with the issue and the second such meeting in just three weeks.

The leaders met on 17 September for an emergency meeting. Today’s summit will follow up on measures discussed in September.

Speaking on the eve of the summit, the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “As Europe’s leaders, we came together three weeks ago to agree on a concrete list of steps we need to take, and to take urgently … We have seen concrete results, but we still need member states to do more.

“Noble words need to be followed by concrete actions back home.”

 The crisis has, to some extent, disappeared from the headlines, largely because bottlenecks which caused crowds, tension and at times violence, have been released.

However, the flow of people has continued at the same pace, with Germany continuing to take in more migrants than any other country. In September alone, 200,000 migrants and refugees arrived in Germany.

Last week, Sky News visited one of many camps to which the migrants are distributed to see the process by which they are assimilated into society.

The UK has come under some pressure to do more to help migrants who have already arrived in Europe.

 David Cameron has already announced that the UK will take in 20,000 refugees from Syria over a five-year period, but only from camps in countries neighbouring Syria.

The UK Government argues that any comprehensive approach must put emphasis on the causes of the crisis and not just the symptoms and that the policies of Germany and others only act as a pull factor.

A strengthening of the EU’s external border force will be discussed and lingering questions of the stability of the Schengen open border policy within the EU are likely to resurface.

Last week, French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve told Sky News that an EU without Schengen was not conceivable.

For the UK, there will be another key focus to the summit: David Cameron’s efforts to renegotiate Britain’s position in the European Union.

In the past few weeks, Mr Cameron has continued his renegotiation diplomacy, meeting the leaders of Cyprus, Estonia, Germany as well as the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk.

Despite suggestions Mr Cameron has struggled to win support for the reforms he’s proposing, a British diplomatic source claimed plans were on track.

“We are exactly where I hoped we would be and where I said we would be in June,” the source said, adding that the strategy remains the same as always: to renegotiate the relationship with the EU and put in place reforms which will benefit the whole of the EU.

Mr Cameron and British diplomats will carry on intensive meetings into the autumn.

He has pledged to hold an in/out referendum over Britain’s membership of the EU by the end of 2017.

There was confusion on Wednesday when Mr Juncker appeared to say Britain does not need the EU, however, his aides tried to clarify his comments, claiming he said the UK “does” need the EU.

Meanwhile, the World Bank says it plans to talk to its shareholders about compensating Syria’s neighbours for the substantial cost of hosting refugees for long periods.

“It’s actually quite significant for countries like Jordan, for Lebanon and for Turkey, and some estimates put that at about 1.1-1.4 % of GDP,” senior bank official Colin Bruce told a conference in Geneva.

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