Wednesday

5th Aug 2020

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 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe 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.

News in Brief

  1. EU offers help to Lebanon after port explosion
  2. Next US envoy to Germany outed on xenophobia
  3. Belgium sees spike in coronavirus infections
  4. Doctors: virus second wave arrives in Germany
  5. Lukashenko: Russia planned 'massacre' in Minsk
  6. Nearly half of Germans happy to see US soldiers go
  7. Poland hails 'crowning glory' of US troop relocation
  8. Germany sends troops to enforce Libya arms embargo

EU warns UK to abide by Brexit political declaration

"No significant progress" has been made on the latest round of talks between the UK and EU on how their relationship should look from January, according to Michel Barnier. The EU told UK to stick to its prior commitments.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDANext generation Europe should be green and circular
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNEW REPORT: Eight in ten people are concerned about climate change
  3. UNESDAHow reducing sugar and calories in soft drinks makes the healthier choice the easy choice
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersGreen energy to power Nordic start after Covid-19
  5. European Sustainable Energy WeekThis year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held digitally!
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic states are fighting to protect gender equality during corona crisis

Latest News

  1. Why EU beats US on green pandemic recovery
  2. Azerbaijan ambassador to EU shared anti-George Floyd post
  3. Polish party roars back at EU on LGBTI fines
  4. EU: Hong Kong election delay undermines democracy
  5. Why hydrogen is no magic solution for EU Green Deal
  6. EU mishandling corona-travel, Belgian expert says
  7. France wants rule-of-law sanctions on recovery budget
  8. The three 'Elephants in the Room' in EU-India relations

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us