Europe News

EU leaders reach an agreement on migration after late-night summit

Key Points
  • Leaders of the European Union reached a deal on migration.
Donald Tusk
Simona Granati | Corbis | Getty Images

European Union leaders reached an agreement on migration after almost 10 hours of chaotic talks in Brussels over the sensitive issue threatening their union and zone of free travel, as well as German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government.

"EU28 leaders have agreed on (summit) conclusions, including on migration," the chairman of the talks, Donald Tusk, said.

Italy has earlier blocked any agreement at the summit — which was also about trade and security, among other things — unless EU peers meet its demands over migration.

The euro jumped as much as 0.6 percent on Friday after news that a deal had been reached.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said he was satisfied by the deal, adding that Rome would decide later on whether to host centers for migrants.

"We are satisfied," Conte told reporters emerging after nine hours of talks with his peers in Brussels. "It was a long negotiation but from today Italy is no longer alone."

He listed the elements of the agreement, including the possibility of setting up migrant centers in EU countries to decide on asylum requests, but he made it clear Italy had not yet decided on whether to have such a site on its territory.

"It is a decision that we will take together in the government. We are not at all urged to do so," Conte told reporters after attending his first EU summit.

For her part, Merkel said it was a good sign that EU leaders had been able to agree common language on migration, but acknowledged that deep divisions remained among member states.

"Overall, after an intensive discussion on the most challenging theme for the European Union, namely migration, it is a good signal that we agreed a common text," Merkel said.

"We still have a lot of work to do to bridge the different views," she added.

—CNBC contributed to this report.