European Union leaders are bitterly divided over a quota scheme for housing migrants, as they gather for a summit in Brussels.

Summit chairman Donald Tusk irritated an EU commissioner and some other officials by calling mandatory quotas “ineffective” and “highly divisive”.

His European Council agenda calls for an EU deal by June to ease the burden on Mediterranean countries facing the greatest migrant pressure.

According to BBC News, the European Commission is suing Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic at the European Court of Justice for refusing to accept asylum seekers under an EU quota system.

The European Commission devised a mandatory scheme to relocate 160,000 refugees – Syrians and Eritreans – from Italy and Greece to other EU countries. But so far only about 32,000 refugees have been transferred.

The pre-summit agenda sent to leaders by Mr Tusk – a former Polish prime minister – appeared to back those countries’ objections. They argue that they are ill-equipped to integrate people from non-Christian cultures who would rather live in richer EU countries anyway.

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