Saturday

20th Apr 2019

Tusk and Merkel discuss post-Brexit EU

  • Tusk (r) plans to visit all EU capitals in the coming weeks (Photo: Consillium)

EU Council president Donald Tusk is meeting chancellor Angela Merkel at a castle retreat in Germany on Thursday (18 August) as part of preparations for the Brexit summit in Bratislava.

The evening dinner, at the Meseberg castle 65km north of Berlin, will take place without a media briefing and comes amid plans by the EU chairman to visit every EU capital over the next four weeks.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

He has already scheduled meetings in Luxembourg, France, Ireland, Malta, Spain, Sweden and the UK as well as the three Baltic states.

At the heart of the discussions will be whether Europe should make another leap forward in integration in reaction to the Brexit vote, with further pooling of sovereignty on economic governance and immigration, or whether it should hand greater control to national capitals to avoid feeding euroscepticism.

Merkel and her party, along with several central European leaders, have indicated wariness on further integration.

But the Social Democratic Party in Germany's ruling coalition, as well as France and Italy, are pulling in the other direction. Italy is planning to hold an informal summit with France and Germany on the island of Ventotene next week to set out its ideas.

The Bratislava meeting, in mid-September, will also discuss how to handle future relations with the UK.

Germany this week indicated it is willing to grant Britain what it called a “special status”, indicating closer relations and more beneficial terms than associated EU states such as Norway or Switzerland.

But Berlin, like central and eastern Europe, ruled out limitations to EU freedom of movement if the UK is to have access to the single market.

According to a report by British broadcaster ITV on Wednesday, citing British official sources, that would not be acceptable to London, which is angling for control over immigration and curbs on its future contributions to the EU budget.

Norway and Switzerland have to let in EU workers and pay into the EU coffers in return for market access but have no say over EU laws.

The ITV report added that the UK minister in charge of Brexit, David Davis, is considering UK-EU relations on the model of a draft Canada-EU free trade deal, with preferential access to certain sectors of the single market only, while retaining immigration control.

Column / Brexit Briefing

Brexit prompts trade limbo

Brexit has landed EU trade policy, as well as the UK, in limbo land. At least one trade deal has already been put on ice, and others may well follow.

Merkel wants EU to focus on jobs and security

Merkel is meeting 12 EU leaders in the next two days to forge alliances before the Bratislava summit in September on the EU's future, where different views are bound to clash.

Brexit may not happen, EU top judge says

The EU's most senior judge has cast doubt on whether the UK will really leave the EU, while adding that it was never a fully-fledged member in the first place.

Feature

'Swexit' off menu at election for first time in 24 years

The Swedish Left Party have abandoned euroscepticism to campaign on climate change - whilst the hard-right Sweden Democrats spy possibilities of a link up with Matteo Salvini of Italy and France's Marine Le Pen.

Opinion

Brexit vs Grexit: The six stages of losing to the EU

Theresa May's venture seems very similar to the attempt by Alexis Tsipras in 2015 to persuade Brussels to accept his terms for the bail out - a huge negotiation failure, presented to the public as the best possible deal.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  2. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  3. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  4. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  5. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  9. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  10. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan

Latest News

  1. Romania drafts EU code on NGO migrant rescues
  2. Bulgaria, Hungary, and Malta shamed on press unfreedom
  3. EU drafts $20bn US sanctions list in aviation dispute
  4. Brunei defends stoning to death of gay men in EU letter
  5. US Democrats side with Ireland on Brexit
  6. Wifi or 5G to connect EU cars? MEPs weigh in
  7. How Brexit may harm the new EU parliament
  8. EU parliament backs whistleblower law

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us