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The Editors

Europe’s Deal on Migration Is a Failure

The EU still lacks a unified approach to the refugee crisis.

The human stakes are high.

The human stakes are high.

Photographer: David Ramos/Getty Images Europe

European Union leaders say they have a new deal on migration. It’s hardly that: They came up with a text but no clear agreement on what to do. The plan is a muddle that leaves important details blank. Most important, it ducks the main challenge: to devise a common EU policy on refugees.

The EU has been struggling to deal with an inflow of migrants from across the Mediterranean Sea. Southern European countries, especially Italy and Malta, have spent heavily on rescuing people at sea and processing refugees. The job falls to them because of a controversial rule — the so-called Dublin regulation — which says that asylum applications should generally be handled by the country of entry.