EU leaders convene in Austria for summit discussions on Brexit and EU budget negotiations

EU leaders convene in Austria for summit discussions on Brexit and EU budget negotiations

EU leaders will meet for a two-day informal summit in Salzburg today. Two days are unlikely to be sufficient to

French President Emmanuel Macron talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker during a European Union leaders informal summit in Brussels

Photo: Reuters/Yves Herman

EU leaders will meet for a two-day informal summit in Salzburg today.

Two days are unlikely to be sufficient to cover what will be a packed agenda, with leaders expected to discuss Brexit, the Article 7 process and the EU’s budget. Today’s biggest headache will be migration, which has been a persistent source of tension for the bloc.

Leaders are expected to discuss a proposal made by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker last week to strengthen the EU’s border guard with 10,000 new personnel. While the proposal was likely aimed at easing tensions on migration, it has had the opposite effect, with some leaders—led by Hungary’s Viktor Orban—arguing that migration should strictly be a national issue.

But Mr Juncker’s proposal is one of many floating around. Italy and Austria’s interior ministers, for example, have controversially suggested that asylum seekers be held at sea while their claims are processed—an unpopular idea as it could infringe on human rights. As such, while some leaders will want a show of European solidarity today, they may end up with the opposite.

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