Merkel’s Refugee Mini-Summit Threatens EU Split

Thursday, December 17, 2015
By Paul Martin

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Thursday attended an EU mini-summit on the sidelines of the main European Council meeting of all 28 member states in a move seen by many as a sign of further divisions in Europe.

Merkel is at the center of the European refugee crisis after declaring her country’s doors open to refugees, precipitating the biggest mass movement of people across Europe since the Second World War. Although migrants had been crossing into Europe for many months before her declaration in August, the numbers increased massively afterwards.

The consequences of the mass migration have thrown the European Union into chaos, with the Schengen borderless zone called into question. Hungary, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and Denmark are among the countries which have — to a greater or lesser extent — closed their borders or imposed border controls.

Meanwhile, an EU plan to relocate 160,000 refugees from Greece and Italy took four months to broker, but has run into difficulties.

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