Lost among the other overnight news, was the launch of “a new chapter” for the EU as termed by Germany’s troubled chancellor Merkel. After her meeting with French President Macron on Tuesday, Merkel said Germany and France have agreed to cooperate to reform the EU’s asylum system as both “understand the topic of migration is a joint task” and “our goal remains a European answer to the challenge.” What she really meant is that if her government is toppled by the collapse of the CSU-CDU coalition – recall Merkel has a 2 week ultimatum to reach a solution on Germany’s treatment of refugees by July 1 – the rest of Europe gets it too, and the grand experiment is over.
Aside from immigration, the two leaders agreed to an in principle plan to strengthen the Euro area, including setting up a euro-area budget and a crisis backstop under the ESM (European stability mechanism), although they postponed decisions on some elements which could prove consequential. Chief among them: specifics on the size and conditions of the euro-area budget. Continue reading