It will take much more than a mini-summit to bridge the profound differences both between and within EU capitals over how to handle asylum and irregular migration. Indeed, no sooner had the European commission convened the informal meeting, to be attended by Germany, France, Italy, Greece, Spain, Malta, Bulgaria, Belgium and the Netherlands, than the recriminations started. Aimed at throwing a political lifeline to Angela Merkel in a fraught standoff between the German chancellor and her hardline interior minister, Horst Seehofer, that threatens the stability of her coalition, the measures the summit will discuss have infuriated Italy.
And while Poland, Hungary and the Czech republic will not be present in Brussels on Sunday, their flat refusal to accept any obligatory quota or redistribution arrangements will necessarily weigh on whatever conclusions it is able to reach. Read more