European leaders have hashed out a deal on migration that should satisfy the Italian government's hardline approach and stave off a potential collapse of Angela Merkel's coalition in Germany.
The decision, announced Friday morning, was greeted positively by non-governmental groups focused on migration, including the UN's International Organization of Migration, which said it was "very pleased at the solidarity and consensus" that emerged overnight.
But some in Europe cautioned the agreement achieved the bare minimum for reasons of political expediency and did little to solve long-term challenges, including an unequal sharing of migration's burdens among European nations that has bedeviled the bloc in recent years.
Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite acknowledged as much in an interview with CNBC on Friday, using the kind of diplomatic language that is so prevalent in Brussels. "Today," she said, "it is a compromise, and maybe the pace of reforms is slower than we expected."
Several European leaders had told CNBC ahead of the marathon 10-hour meeting that they were not optimistic about reaching a deal. But in the early hours of Thursday morning, European Council Donald Tusk announced that all 28 leaders had signed off on a raft of new measures that were focused on strengthening both the bloc's external borders and its internal controls.
The agreement vowed to crack down aggressively on those involved in trafficking operations in Libya and elsewhere, while increasing support for the Libyan coastguard and boosting funds for affected communities. This will likely include regions like Sicily and remote Italian islands such as Lampedusa that have been frontline destinations for many migrant entries into Europe.