EU Council President Donald Tusk said progress had been made but the European Union must end the “blame game” on migration and focus on working more with foreign countries and further strengthening its border to bring down arrivals.
The 28 leaders of EU countries are meeting in the Austrian city of Salzburg to tackle migration once again, an issue that has badly damaged their unity in recent years.
Right before chairing the talks, EU Council President Donald Tusk said progress had been made since Mediterranean arrivals peaked in 2015.
He said fewer than 100,000 migrants had reached Europe without necessary documentation this year.
He warned continued bickering between member states would only make a solution harder to achieve.
"I will call all leaders to stop the migration blame game. Despite aggressive rhetoric, things are moving in the right direction. Mostly because we have been focused on external border control."
The leaders are to discuss a proposal to raise the number of guards at the EU’s border agency to 10,000.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on arriving for the talks with her EU peers that Africa was 'the key relationship' for the bloc.
Despite a steep drop in immigration numbers since 2015, political aftershocks are still reverberating with member states at loggerheads over how to distribute new arrivals and share the burden of integrating migrants already in the EU.