German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that the fate of the European Union (EU) rests on its ability to find a solution to deal with refugees and migrants arriving in Europe.
“Europe faces many challenges, but that of migration could become the make-or-break one for the EU,” Merkel told German parliament on Thursday.
Merkel made the announcement as she and 27 other EU leaders prepare to meet to discuss migration and a controversial proposal to set up processing centres for asylum-seekers in northern Africa among other issues during a two-day summit in Brussels.
“Either we manage it, so others in Africa believe that we are guided by values and believe in multilateralism, not unilateralism, or nobody will believe any longer in the system of values that has made us strong,” she said.
“That’s why it’s so important.”
EU leaders are deeply divided over how to handle the flow of Europe-bound refugees and migrants, despite a significant drop in arrivals this year.
A June deadline to reach an agreement over asylum-seekers has passed, but a solution still remains out of reach.
During the meeting, the leaders will possibly talk about reforms to the EU’s Dublin Regulation, which requires refugees to apply for asylum in the country they first arrive.
Other issues, such as a joint migration deal and agreeing on countries’ responsibilities will also be on the table.