How embarrassing for #Merkel that EU divisions over #migration policies - where some European governments or government ministers prefer to go it alone rather than to find a common EU position - is being played out - in neon-lit glaring headlines - in her own administration 1
#Merkel has always pushed for EU-wide migration solutions (though she took a rather large unilateral decision herself back in 2015 when she opened the doors to over a million asylum-seekers, in defiance of EU regulations) 2
Those regulations stipulate that irregular migrants must be processed in the first EU country they arrive in- but #Merkel argued that no-one was looking after or documenting them (remember the chaos in Greece and Hungary?) 3
The migration crisis is an example of European Dis-union. Back in 2015 EU countries fell over one another in their rush to slam border doors on their neighbours in order to stop the flow of migrants entering their territory 4
Since then, frontline countries like Italy have been left alone to deal with the ongoing problem of irregular migration -which - all EU leaders know is not going away 5
#Merkel planned to concentrate this term in office on developing an EU plan for Africa -to make life better over there so fewer people want to come over here - but clearly time, money + EU countries’ willingness to back her with anything more than words were in short supply 6
Now the unilateralism of EU countries is on glaring display in Merkel’s own government - her Interior Minister wants to launch a German plan to deal with irregular migration and asylum. Merkel has said no - she wants a pan-European plan 7
Headlines are incorrect when suggest #Merkel disagrees with her Interior Min’s plan to refuse entry to Germany for migrants whose asylum cases have already been refused in another EU country. That’s in accordance with EU regulations 7
What Merkel has refused is a GERMAN rather than an EU way forward on irregular migration 8
#Merkel and the man who is now her Interior Min - Horst Seehofer - have clashed countless times in the past 9
Merkel’s decision to take him in to her cabinet was possibly not unlike Theresa May’s choice to name hardline Brexiteers as cabinet ministers - a gamble that it was politically expedient to try to watch and work with them on the inside rather than let them loose outside 10
Both choices have proven to be politically challenging for the prime ministers concerned 11
Will the Seehofer clash bring #Merkel down this week? Surely he’ll be doing his sums. If he’s banging the anti-immigration drum so his party does well in upcoming regional elections, the plan will backfire if #Merkel s party runs against him rather than on same ticket as usual
And in the meantime -never mind domestic politics- the frantic European diplomatic dance on #migration on has cranked up again too and also keeping #Merkel busy - with the new Italian PM in Berlin today while she meets France’s Macron tomorrow 13
Oh yes and as well as migration, expect Macron to pile on the pressure on #Merkel over Eurozone reform too .. and possibly military spending in NATO 14
A separate but concurrent headache for #Merkel are Trump tariffs. German voters are fretting about car exports - not as much as over migration or about how much euro reform might cost them - but it’s a considerable concern 16
In amongst all that #Merkel has asked her restive Interior Min and his CSU party to give her 2 weeks to find a common, workable, EU-wide solution on irregular migration - something the EU has failed to do for years #aimhighangie
Still it doesn’t seem in the interest of Interior Min Seehofer to pull the plug on the #Merkel gov. That would likely damage his party nationally and in elex in his home region of Bavaria. Why risk it when he already benefits hugely from tough-on-migration-and-on-Merkel stance 16
PS Very important in the EU migrant debate not to mix up the current crisis over irregular migration by boat and over mountains with the EU freedom of movement principle for passport-holding EU citizens. Different discussion #Brexit

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More from @BBCkatyaadler

Oct 8, 2018
1) Get ready for a big #Brexit week this week - in Brussels and U.K.
2) European Commission decides today whether or not to delay 2 awaited publications scheduled for Wednesday appearance: paper on future EU-UK relationship and paper on stark EU intentions in case of no deal
3) These 2 papers could be used as carrot/sticks in negotiations but there’s a nervousness in EU circles to get tone right at this delicate coming-to-end-game state of #Brexit proceedings and not to be seen as bullying (remember Salzburg??)
Read 9 tweets
Oct 4, 2018
1) Irish PM in Brussels for crucial talks today. The Irish backstop is THE main stumbling block to completing the UK’s withdrawal agreement from the EU. Will Varadkar push for more EU openness to U.K. proposals?
2) Varadkar is seeing (separately) the Pres of the European Council (who represents all EU leaders in Brussels) and Commission man Barnier who leads Brexit negotiations for the EU. Are there differences in opinion appearing in EU over a possible backstop solution?
3) EU insists there must be a legally binding backstop agreement - a fallback scenario that may never be used but wld guarantee that -whatever the future relationship between the EU and U.K. after Brexit - there would never be a new harder border between NIreland and Ireland
Read 8 tweets
Sep 6, 2018
EU diplomats shrug at what they view as U.K. hysteria over Canada+ or Chequers #Brexit debate. The EU says the choice was never the UK’s alone 1
EU viewsChequers as a U.K. government position. Not an end in itself. Brussels aim: to navigate between Chequers and EU red lines.. 2
Accusation I often hear in Brussels is that U.K. Brexit negotiators are fine wordsmiths but that there’s often little meaning behind the words 3
Read 19 tweets

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