Germany’s ruling coalition leaders meet amid divisions over migration policy

Germany’s ruling coalition leaders meet amid divisions over migration policy

The heads of Germany’s three ruling parties—the CDU, CSU and SPD—will convene today for their first coalition session since last

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Photo: Sven Hoppe/DPA

The heads of Germany’s three ruling parties—the CDU, CSU and SPD—will convene today for their first coalition session since last year’s election. Topping the agenda will be rapidly rising tensions over migrant policy.

Defying his coalition allies, internal minister and CSU leader Horst Seehofer recently threatened to turn away migrants lacking proper documentation if Chancellor Merkel is unable to convince Southern Europe to enforce Dublin regulation by the month’s end.

Already the internal dissent has decreased support for the closely-tied CDU and CSU. Further unrest may risk collapsing the grand coalition with the SDU, which may wish to escape from a possibly sinking ship.

Additionally, if the once open-border-oriented Germany pivots to adopt an anti-immigrant policy, both Austria and Italy are prepared to take similar measures. Such a scenario threatens to create a domino effect of closed borders, with each European country not wanting to bear the brunt of migration

However, while its impacts are high this result is unlikely. Instead, expect Ms Merkel to seek short-term bilateral deals rather than a comprehensive solution at the coming summit. Whether a clearer answer, such as off-shore processing plants, will be later implemented remains to be seen.

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