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EU Immigration Deal: EU leaders seek immigration deal in Brussels

European Union leaders are huddling together in Brussels on Thursday, where over the next two days they will discuss security, trade and, most importantly, migration.

Stakes are high after German Chancellor Angela Merkel described irregular migration as an issue that could "make or break" the EU. At home, she is under pressure to secure a bloc-wide deal or face the possible collapse of her government.

Some of the measures Merkel is hoping to clinch during the summit include bolstering Frontex, the EU's border management agency, establishing a "solidarity-based agreement" to share the burden of hosting asylum-seekers and shoring up support for returning migrants under the Dublin system.

"Defense of our external borders is something which unites Europe. (We will talk about ) the issues of Frontex, border protection, secondary migration. The countries that are receiving a lot of refugees need support. But the refugees and migrants can't choose in which country they request asylum," Merkel said at the summit.

Several nations, including France, Hungary, have told reporters at the summit that they are open to bilateral agreements with Germany.

But by Thursday evening, Italy had vowed to block progress on any issue to pressure fellow members into action on migration. Leaders had hoped to pass joint statements on a range of issues and then come to an agreement on migration.

A French diplomatic source said on Thursday evening that France, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands and Spain had agreed on the wording of a draft summit text on immigration.

Read  more: EU leaders seek migration deal in Brussels | News | DW | 28.06.2018

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