Blowing hot air = UK Prime Minister David Cameron spoke of a comprehensive approach; Viktor Orban, the normally fiery Hungarian leader told me everyone had to co-operate and Angela Merkel insisted, "What we cannot say is Europe cannot deal with this. I say it again and again, we WILL do this!"
EU leaders do actually agree on a number of key issues:
- Cracking down on people smuggling rings
- Getting asylum claims processed faster, so failed claimants can be deported more rapidly
- The need to secure Europe's external borders
- Boosting aid to the sprawling, squalid refugee camps around Syria, so fewer people feel tempted to come to Europe
- Stepping up attempts to try to end the war in Syria
But common resolve is one thing. Effective, immediate action is quite another. And some of the leaders' goals are more realistic than others. At a press conference after the summit, the German chancellor spoke of the need to talk to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad as part of a new European push for peace in his country. The conflict has now reached Europe, and Germany in particular. It is the European country of choice for Syrian refugees. In the past, Germany has joined other Western leaders in calling for President Assad to step aside. So these talks would be delicate and controversial, they will not happen overnight and their chances of success are limited, to say the least. Then there's the question of building what is often dubbed Fortress Europe - or what Donald Tusk described last night as "closing Europe's doors and windows".