Migration make or break issue for Europe: Merkel

EU Leaders Seek Ways to Halt Migrants amid Political Turmoil

German Chancellor Merkel attends fraction meeting in Berlin Thomson Reuters BERLIN (Reuters) - German coalition parties failed to resolve a row over migrant policy during four hours of late night talks on Tuesday and further discussions were needed, Volker Kauder, a senior lawmaker in Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) said on Wednesday. This issue has since been used to attack Ms. Merkel politically, and past year helped the far-right Alternative for Germany win seats in the German parliament for the first time.

Merkel came away from a European Union summit with agreements for Greece and Spain to take back migrants previously registered in those countries who arrive at Germany's borders, as well as an overall agreement by the 28-bloc to help ease the pressure of migration into Europe. "We need to talk to each other", said Kauder.

Why is migration in Europe in the news again?

Internal strife within her coalition has become so acrimonious that could bring down her government, but Merkel told parliament the implications were even broader.

The CSU has given Merkel until the end of this week's European Union summit to agree migrant policies with European Union partners that will reduce the burden on Germany - a tall order given how deeply divided Europe is on how to deal with the influx of migrants.

Or, in a manner where "no one will believe in our value system that has made us so strong". Ms Merkel is under intense pressure from her Bavarian conservative coalition partners to convince governments to speed up return procedures for asylum seekers already registered in other European Union countries.

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In a bone to Merkel, the leaders will also agree to "closely cooperate" on stopping secondary movements of migrants, according to draft summit conclusions, although the language may be weaker than she would have hoped.

Former communist countries in Eastern Europe, particularly the authoritarian governments of Hungary and Poland, implacably oppose the plan.

The EU is rapidly moving rightwards on migration, a stance that is likely to increase when Austria under youthful conservative Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz assumes the bloc's presidency on July 1.

Failure to issue a joint statement at the end of the summit on Friday would be a catastrophic show of disunity for the EU leaders, who are meeting amid warnings that authoritarian and "anti-European" movements will take advantage of their failure to tackle migration.

The leaders will on Friday discuss largely French and German proposals, many watered down, to reform the euro, but notably absent is any overt support for French President Emmanuel Macron's plans for a eurozone budget.

"No, it was not to be expected because the party committees meet on Sunday", he said.

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