Schengen breakdown: European Council President tells migrants not to come to Europe

Thousands of migrants now face desperate situation as border controls on Europe's edges are tightened

Newstalk, migrant, European Council President Donald Tusk, border control, Athens, Greece, Calais, France

Migrants stage a protest as demolition continues at the Calais migrant camp, known as the Jungle, in northern France. Picture by: Gareth Fuller / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Updated 12.40

The head of the European Council is meeting with Turkey's Prime Minister and President today, as the migrant crisis shows no sign of easing.

Donald Tusk made headlines yesterday when he told reporters covering a meeting he held with the Greek leader that migrants should not risk their lives to come to Europe, because "it is all for nothing".

But European leaders are rejecting suggestions that the Schengen accords have broken down.

Under the rules, which most European countries have signed up to, whatever country a migrant comes into first is where they are supposed to be identified, fingerprinted and a decision taken if they have made an appeal for asylum.

Over 1.2 million people made initial applications for asylum to the European Union last year - more than twice the figure for 2014.

Eurostat says Syrians were the largest group - followed by people from Afghanistan and Iraq.

Journalist Ann Cahill told Breakfast the country's migrants have been arriving to - like Greece - are just not able to cope with the numbers landing: "That is not happening because they just don't want that number of people so they have just been waving them on."

European Union leaders will gather in Brussels next week for a summit on the migrant crisis.

Donald Tusk, President of the European Council yesterday warned migrants: "do not come to Europe... do not risk your lives, your money."

Speaking in Athens, he appealed to asylum seekers not to undertake the arduous journeys they are risking until Europe has resolved its crisis.

Earlier this week, authorities on the Greece/Macedonia border fired tear gas at thousands of people waiting there for entry into Europe, including children.

And in northern France, police have been dismantling The Jungle camp in Calais, leading to violent protests - including some of those affected sewing their mouths closed.


Oxfam and 25 other agencies yesterday wrote to European leaders, urging them to uphold the human rights of asylum seekers'

*NOTE - Ireland is not party to the Schengen Accords.