The European Union will hold a special summit with Turkey early in March to discuss a joint plan aimed at stemming the inflow of refugees, European Council President Donald Tusk reportedly told journalists Friday. He was addressing the press during an ongoing two-day EU summit in Brussels.
“We agreed that our joint action plan with Turkey remains a priority and we must do all we can to succeed. This is why we have the intention to organize a special meeting with Turkey in the beginning of March,” Tusk told a press conference, Agence France-Presse reported.
Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, criticized a move by Austria, which is introducing a daily cap of 80 asylum claims on refugees arriving at its southern border. Such quotas do not comply with EU legislation, and Juncker said “solo national approaches were not recommended,” according to the BBC.
More than one million refugees arrived in the EU during 2015, most of whom headed to Germany.
An unidentified official said the EU-Turkey meeting to discuss Europe’s worst refugee crisis since World War II was scheduled for March 5, Reuters reported. A meeting between EU leaders and Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was supposed to take place Thursday but the Turkish premier cancelled his trip following a bomb attack in Ankara early on Wednesday.
Under a November deal between the EU and Turkey, the European bloc pledged 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) to Turkey for cutting the flow by housing refugees on its territory. According to the BBC, Turkey is currently home to about 3 million refugees, most of them Syrian.
The ongoing EU summit is also negotiating new terms with the U.K. to keep it within the bloc.