The latest news from a European Union summit focusing on the migration crisis and British demands for EU reforms. All times local.

1:35 p.m.

European Council President Donald Tusk says British Prime Minister David Cameron faces an uphill battle to sway member nations to force through fundamental changes to EU rules that Britain wants since "some parts of the British proposal seem unacceptable."

At a year-end summit that begins Thursday, EU leaders will discuss for the first time in detail the British demands for EU reforms needed for the U.K. to remain a member of the bloc.

Before the start of the summit, Tusk said he was counting on the brinkmanship of Cameron to seek a breakthrough on the major issues.

Tusk said that "If Prime Minister Cameron persuades leaders tonight that we can work together to find solutions, then we will have a real chance to strike a deal in February," when EU leaders meet again.

Britain plans to hold a referendum on whether to remain in the EU by the end of the 2017.

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11:35 a.m.

European Union leaders are converging on Brussels for an end-of-year summit focused on tackling Europe's migrant crisis and other issues.

On the first day of their two-day summit starting Thursday, EU leaders will examine a controversial plan from the European Commission to set up a new border and coast guard agency with powers to unilaterally deploy guards to countries in trouble.

The plan appears likely to face opposition by southern European nations hardest hit by the arrival of hundreds of thousands of migrants to Europe this year, including Greece and Italy.