EU ministers meet to discuss deportations amid flood of Syrian refugees

EU justice and home affairs ministers meet in Luxembourg where they are set to agree on plans to step up deportations of illegal immigrants.

LUXEMBOURG, LUXEMBOURG (REUTERS) – European Union governments were set to agree on Thursday (October 8) to step up deportations of illegal immigrants among the hundreds of thousands who have failed to win asylum as they try to cope with a surge in refugees from war-torn Syria.

EU interior ministers meeting in Luxembourg were expected to agree, among other things, to back the detention of those who may abscond before expulsion and exert more pressure on African and other poor states, including via aid budgets, to make them accept the return of citizens refused entry to Europe.

In the evening, they will be joined by EU foreign ministers and delegations from Balkan states, Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon for talks on stemming migrant flows that have plunged the bloc into crisis, dividing members over how to secure the EU’s external borders and how to share responsibility for housing refugees.

The meetings are part of efforts to implement a package of measures put forward by EU officials over the past six months and which have this week involved the start of negotiations with Turkey, temporary home to more than half of the four million Syrian refugees, to try and discourage people from travelling.

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