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German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez at a meeting Sunday on migration and asylum issues in Brussels. Photo: Thierry Monasse/Getty Images

European Union leaders met in Brussels on Sunday to attempt to find common ground on the ongoing migration crisis, agreeing to screen asylum seekers seeking protection in Europe at centers in North Africa and the Balkans, the AP reports.

Why it matters: The EU has been bitterly divided over the migration of refugees, and some nations have questioned who should be responsible for the thousands primarily seeking asylum in Italy, Greece and Spain. This dynamic has thrust German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition to the verge of collapse and pitted nations against each other.

What's happening, per the AP:

  • The leaders agreed on a preliminary proposal to create screening centers in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Niger and Tunisia.
  • Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte wants migrants to apply for asylum in the country where they arrive, but Italy and Malta recently blocked vessels carrying more than 600 migrants rescued from the Mediterranean Sea from docking on their shores.
  • Four EU countries — the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia — refused to attend the meeting and reject taking in migrants in general.

What's next: Today's meeting will be further scrutinized when a full two-day EU summit starts on Thursday. Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron played down the idea of any sort of EU-wide agreement, stating instead that agreements between two and three countries are more likely to solve the crisis.

  • Macron also downplayed the idea that Europe was at a breaking point, citing stats that show the European migrant crisis peaked in 2015: "It’s a political crisis that Europe and the European Union is mostly living today."

Go deeper: The U.S. has passed Germany in asylum requests.

Go deeper

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

Screenshot of emails to a member of Congress from individuals who signed an Americans for Limited Government petition against Rep. Liz Cheney. Photo obtained by Axios

Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.

Democrats aim to punish House GOP for Capitol riot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes through a newly installed metal detector at the House floor entrance Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to take advantage of corporate efforts to cut funding for Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, with a plan to target vulnerable members in the pivotal 2022 midterms for their role in the Jan. 6 violence.

Why it matters: It's unclear whether the Democrats' strategy will manifest itself in ads or earned media in the targeted races or just be a stunt to raise money for themselves. But the Capitol violence will be central to the party's messaging as it seeks to maintain its narrow majorities in Congress.