Macron and Merkel look reach an agreement on migration ahead of EU leaders summit

Macron and Merkel look reach an agreement on migration ahead of EU leaders summit

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet in Germany today for a ministerial meeting that will

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel react during their meeting at Elysee Palace in Paris

Photo: Reuters/Christophe Petit Tesson

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet in Germany today for a ministerial meeting that will focus on deepening EU rifts over migration.

Last week, Italy refused to allow a ship carrying 630 rescued migrants to dock at its port, drawing diplomatic criticism from Mr Macron’s government. In Hungary, nationalist PM Viktor Orban’s government proposed new legislation last month, in defiance of existing EU law, seeking to criminalise those aiding irregular migrants seeking asylum.

The rifts highlight the EU’s failure to agree on how to manage the influx of migrants fleeing poverty and armed conflict.

With EU leaders meeting next week, today’s talks are an attempt to reach the beginnings of a new agreement on unifying EU migrant policy. However, with Italy’s recent elections and new growing concerns about populism in southern Europe, political factors could jeopardise the success of such a proposal. The growing reluctance of EU member states, like Italy, to take in more migrants could place more pressure on states like France, Spain and Germany that have yet to impose new restrictions. EU tensions could be further exasperated because of these inconsistencies in EU migrant distribution policies.