There's a lot of confusion out there, in particular internationally, about the impact of the the #Merkel-#Seehofer deal. A few points. (thread)
This is not a major about-face on Merkel's part. In substance, she has given away very little. Her top priority was always to avoid unilateral action and she has achieved that, hence the support of the EU Commission yesterday. (2)
The idea for the zones, which have extraterritorial status, making it easier to quickly turn back refugees, is something Merkel initially proposed in 2015 when it was shot down by the SPD. (3)
The planned transit zones will only go into operation once Germany has agreement with other countries, in particular Austria. And they will only be located in Bavaria around three major border crossings. (4)
A crucial factor that has gotten little attention so far is the number of refugees this rule would apply to. (5)
The policy is designed to keep refugees who have applied for asylum in another EU country from doing so again in Germany. In 2017, this group comprised 1,700 people at the DE-AT border. In the first three months of 2018, there were only 250 such cases. (6)
So the real purpose of the compromise is to give the CSU a powerful symbol -- border refugee camps -- that it can use in the Bavarian election campaign. (7)
To sum up, what undermines Merkel position is not the compromise per se, but the intensity of the rebellion, which illustrates the depth of discord within her conservative bloc over her leaderhsip (NB, not just in the CSU). (8)
Given that dynamic, this week's compromise looks more like a cease-fire than a longterm peace deal. Stay tuned. (9) #Transitzentren

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