The EU-Reform Summit on 28./29. June


Category: European Union

Hopes are high for far-reaching reforms at the European Council summit: On the agenda are not only migration, security, the budget and the economy, but also Brexit and the reform of the euro area. Member states will debate whether and how far they are willing to adopt proposals for reforms set out by Germany and France. For Germany, the summit bears acute domestic significance due to the ongoing dispute about asylum politics among coalition partners CDU and CSU: Angela Merkel’s chancellory may be at stake.


Dr. Daniela Schwarzer

Director, DGAP
#German foreign policy #EU #European foreign policy #Eurozone #Transatlantic relations


“The European Council shows, not only for Germany, how strongly interconnected European politics and developments in the individual member states are. At the summit, we can expect some steps towards strengthening the euro area, based on the recent French-German compromise. Difficult, but at least as important for the future of the union will be the development of a European asylum and migration policy and an improved protection of the EU’s external borders. Germany is more interested than ever in achieving this; as a mediator between contrary positions, it also carries a special responsibility to reach this goal.”

Dr. Jana Puglierin

Head, Alfred von Oppenheim Center for European Policy Studies
#German foreign policy #EU #European foreign policy #EU security and defense policy


“The rift about asylum policy among Germany’s government coalition partners CDU/CSU and the political future of Chancellor Angela Merkel threaten to dominate the European Council and push aside other urgent topics. However, reform pressure in the EU is not limited to revising the common European Asylum System. The window of opportunity for effective EU reforms will be closed by the time of the European elections in 2019: To safeguard the future of the EU, the European heads of states and governments must find joint and sustainable solutions for reforming the eurozone or strengthening the Common Security and Defense Policy by then.”

Dr. Claire Demesmay

Head, Franco-German Relations Program
#Franco-German relations #French domestic and European policy #Migration #Asylum


“National egotisms within the EU have prevented a common approach to asylum and migration policy for many years - and this is not only due to populists on various sides. At this stage, the divisions and blockades are so strong that an agreement between all Member States is all but impossible. However, without the creation of a European asylum authority and the introduction of common standards, as called for by Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron, there is no sustainable solution in sight.”

Dr. Claudia Schmucker

Head, Globalization and World Economy Program
#Globalization #World economy #Trade #G7/G20 #Transatlantic economic relations


“The EU needs to finish and ratify the outstanding trade negotiations as soon as possible. At the summit, the EU also needs to find common ground on its future trade relationship with the US; no nation must go it alone. It is the right way forward for the EU to react to the US steel tariffs by filing a legal challenge at the WTO and itself imposing tariffs on US imports. A transatlantic trade deal cannot be negotiated under these circumstances at this stage.”

Milan Nič

Senior Fellow, Robert Bosch Center for Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia
#Visegrád Group #CEE #European security #Western Balkans


“The Visegrád countries Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia (V4) boycotted the EU migration mini-summit on Sunday. The current domestic crisis in Germany over tougher border enforcement policies is not about them, and they will also not be part of the proposed so-called ‘agreements of the willing’ that German Chancellor Merkel intends to negotiate with Italy and other front-line countries. In the long run, this hands-off approach by the V4 might backfire as it is likely to facilitate the emergence of a ‘two-speed’ or ‘multi-class’ Europe that the V4 countries vehemently want to avoid.”

Dr. Christian Mölling

Deputy Director of the Research Institute
#German security and defense #EU Common Security and Defense Policy #PESCO #NATO


“Germany wanted to turn the EU into a key player in security and defense, but is only inching towards this goal: The ongoing debate on the defense budget is costing political capital with partners in the EU and NATO. None of the many projects launched under PESCO or to be supported by the European Defence Fund (EDF), will show immediately that the EU is on the right track. At the same time, several regional initiatives are being launched or reactivated parallel to the EU initiatives, such as the European Intervention Initiative initiated by French President Macron or the Northern Group reactivated by the UK. The EU is running out of time to match its ambition to be a security policy player with action and visible results.”

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