The Franco-German initiative for an EU mini-summit on Sunday reflects the absence of a consensus, marking the differences between EU member states on migration management which remains substantive on the countdown to the EU June summit.
During bilateral talks on June 19 at Meseberg Palace, outside of Berlin, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel hammered out a compromise ahead of the landmark EU summit in Brussels on June 28-29.
This includes a proposal to coordinate the two countries’ corporate tax rates and an overhaul of the European Stability Mechanism.
Also the the Eurozone’s bailout fund, to expand its mandate and allow it to provide emergency loans to EU countries that are in financial trouble will be highlighted, as well as a new Eurozone budget that will be overseen by the European Commission.
Present at the summit will be “transit states,” through which migrants and asylum seekers make their way into Europe – Greece, Italy, Spain and Bulgaria – plus France, Germany and Austria.
Since 2015 more than 1,5 million migrants and asylum seekers have made their way into the EU. The President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker made clear this informal summit was open to member states seeking a European solution on migration management.
There is an emerging consensus that the EU would like to see processing centers in North Africa to disrupt the flow. There is also a consensus on empowering the Frontex capacity.
The Italian government is working on its own proposal to take to the summit on Sunday, according to the leader of Italy’s far-right and Minister of Interior Matteo Salvini. Italy is not prepared to be “a landing point and refugee camp,” anymore Salvini said on Wednesday.
Germany leads a group of countries that also includes Austria, the Netherlands, and Finland that are net contributors to the EU budget. The group wants to avoid increasing contributions to the EU budget, but a number of EU Member States.
ABC / AA Flash Point News 2018.