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Europe

European ministers to hold emergency October meeting on migrants

media French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and British Home Secretary Theresa May sign an agreement on the Calais crisis, 20 August 2015 Reuters

French Minister of Interior Bernard Cazeneuve and his German counterpart Thomas de Maizière have been working on an initiative in Berlin for a European migration policy, they said from the German capital.

They also announced that Europe's interior and foreign ministers would hold a meeting in Paris in mid-October to discuss how to cope with the influx of migrants and refugees seeking a better life in the European Union.

The meeting will be held to prepare for discussions at an EU-Africa summit in Malta in November. Another meeting will be held later in Berlin.

Meanwhile, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be in Brussels Monday to press the European Union to act more quickly in addressing the worsening refugee crisis.

"It is unacceptable that the EU institutions continue to work at this current pace," de Maizière said at a press conference in Berlin.

"It is obvious that Italy and Greece, on the front line due to their geographical position, will need help and it will cost a lot of EU money."

Europeans must also support countries at the bloc's borders as they struggle against smuggling networks, he said.

Cazeneuve and British Home Secretary Theresa May announced from Calais Thursday that the two countries would set up a "command and control centre" to prevent migrants crossing the Channel to the UK.

The German government said on Wednesday it expects 800,000 refugees to arrive in Germany this year. Over the first six months, 220,000 people have already arrived, fleeing war, violence and poverty in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Germany alone hosts 40 per cent of refugees hosted on European soil, de Maizière said.

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