15:46 GMT15 January 2021
Listen Live
    Get short URL

    The German chancellor has expressed doubts that a meeting in Brussels between the EU and Turkey and another between the eight countries most affected by the migrant crisis represents the beginnings of a more united Europe.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel has for the first time publicly expressed doubts that the EU will survive in its current form, after a meeting between the eight countries most affected by the migrant crisis, and a summit between the EU and Turkey.

    Merkel was asked whether the meeting of eight countries, led by Germany and backed by EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, represented a step towards a more united EU.

    "At the moment, I don't think so," replied the German chancellor, the German press reported on Monday, interpreting the reply as a guarded departure from the usual response, that the EU is able to find a solution to any problem.

    "This response is quite severely doubtful, in diplomatic German. As a rule, political and strategic questions are not answered in a way that can leave open the possibility of fundamental failure," wrote Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten [DWN].

    "Had Merkel been convinced that it will not come to a split, she would have said, 'I know that we are faced with difficult negotiations, but the EU has always managed to find a compromise.'"

    Angela Merkel doubts for the first time the EU's continued existence.

    ​Merkel's remark was aimed at putting pressure on the leaders of eastern European countries, which have voted against migrant quotas in Europe but who benefit from the economic advantages of the European Union, the newspaper believes. 

    On Sunday, the heads of state or government of the EU's 28 members met with the Turkish government to offer concessions to Ankara, with the aim of persuading Turkey to control its borders. 

    The EU has promised to speed up Turkey's accession to the EU, the possibility of visa-free movement for Turkish citizens in Europe, and promised Ankara 3 billion euros ($3.2 billion) in order to improve life for migrants in Turkey, in the hope that they will decide to stay there, and not migrate to Europe.

    Shortly before the meeting with Turkey, a group of leaders from eight European states, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Sweden, held a separate meeting in Brussels to arrange for the resettlement of migrants, after other EU members refused to agree to proposals to resettle more refugees and migrants in their countries.

    New Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo expressed disquiet about the meeting of eight, having attended another summit between the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia, where those countries reiterated their opposition to EU resettlement or relocation quotas.

    "I cannot imagine that decisions will be taken in such a format [the summit of eight countries] and then imposed on other member states," said Szydlo.


    German Right-Wing Party Urges Merkel to Step Down Over Refugee Crisis
    Deal Between Merkel, Erdogan Will Be the End of Europe – German Media
    Turkey-EU Summit 'Historic Day' for Ankara's Accession to European Union
    Asking for Trouble: Erdogan Drags Europe Into New 'Cuban Missile Crisis'?
    European Union, unity, Angela Merkel, Germany
    Community standardsDiscussion