Informal working meeting of EU Heads of State or Government on migration and asylum issues, 24 June 2018

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Publication Date 24/06/2018
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The Heads of State or Government from 16 EU Member States held an informal working meeting on 24 June 2018 to discuss the migration flows into the European Union and the political disputes these sparked within it.

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This 'emergency mini-summit' was called following fresh pressure from political stakeholders in some Member States to address irregular migration.

Migration as a hot political topic made its comeback following a decision by the Italian government not to allow any more migrant rescue boats to dock in the country's ports. The hard stance prompted heavy criticism from some European sectors - like the Spanish and French authorities - but also some support from like-minded governments, like the Austrian cabinet. The situation also sparked tension within the German government, with Bavaria's CSU calling for an unilateral change of policy as regards irregular migrants.

This summit was seen as an opportunity for Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel to seek out for an EU-wide solution for the problem, in an attempt to tame criticism from her own coalition partners. However, its importance was also downplayed as a consultation exercise leading up to the European Council summit held a few days later. Even so, the meeting concluded without substancial results. The Visegrad countries - critical of an open EU policy from the start - were not at the meeting.

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