Wednesday

26th Jul 2017

Merkel wants EU to focus on jobs and security

  • Merkel (c) is trying to bridge the gaps over the EU's future (Photo: g20.org)

The Bratislava summit of the 27 EU leaders on 16 September should focus on job creation for the young and reinforcing security in Europe, German chancellor Angela Merkel said on her diplomatic tour to lay the groundwork for the meeting.

Speaking in Prague on Thursday (25 August), Merkel said: "The Bratislava summit will accent ways that we can improve economic power, create more jobs for young people and how to boost internal and border security.”

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

She added: “I think we can overcome Britain’s decision [to leave]. But we have to work hard to do that.”

At the summit, leaders are expected to chart out the future direction for the EU after Britain’s shock decision to leave the bloc.

The German chancellor is meeting with 12 EU leaders in the next two days on a post-Brexit tour to find a compromise between those who want deeper European integration and those, particularly in eastern and central Europe, where governments support taking some powers back to the national level.

Merkel met with her Estonian counterpart in Tallinn on Thursday, then travelled to Prague to meet PM Bohuslav Sobotka.

One area of further cooperation could be defence and intelligence, which could eventually lead to the establishment of a European army - an area where even the eurosceptic Czech Republic has showed willingness to cooperate.

Sobotka said on Thursday that more European security and defence cooperation, in addition to Nato, was a priority given the need to protect external borders of the EU and to respond to growing security threats, for instance from the Middle East.

'Selfish' policies?

Merkel faces tough talks in Poland on Friday, where she is meeting with the leaders of the Visegrad countries, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

Migration policy will top the agenda. Some in the Visegrad group think that Germany pushed too hard for the mandatory refugee relocation scheme without taking into consideration the national sensibilities of member states.

Ahead of her visit in Warsaw on Friday, Poland’s foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski criticised German foreign policy as being too “selfish”, citing the examples of migration policy, and the plan to build a new gas pipeline connecting Russia and Germany, bypassing Poland.

"There are diverging views on how to distribute migrants across the EU, but on many other issues opinions converge," Merkel said in Prague.

“All families occasionally need phases in which they think about where they go from here,” she added, referring to the EU as a family.

Several hundred protesters rallied in the Czech capital on Thursday against Merkel and her decision a year ago to open the country’s doors to asylum seekers.

A leading figure of Germany's anti-Islamic and anti-immigrant Pegida movement, Tatiana Festerling, was also present for the demonstration, according to the AFP news agency.

In a sign of the anger in some parts of society, Czech police said they arrested a man for attempting to drive his black Mercedes into Merkel's motorcade in Prague as she travelled from the airport to government headquarters.

Later on Friday, Merkel will meet in Germany with a mostly nordic group that includes the prime ministers of Denmark, Finland, and Sweden, as well as the Netherlands.

She will, the same day, also host separate talks with leaders from Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovenia.

The tour is part of her new attempt to be seen as a “listener” and to dispel the image of Berlin trying to impose policies on the rest of the bloc.

But countries in southern Europe are also planning to bind together on a joint proposal to have more clout at the Bratislava summit.

Greece’s prime minister Alexis Tsipras has called for a southern Europe meeting before the event, with French president Francois Hollande having already indicated that he would participate.

Tusk and Merkel discuss post-Brexit EU

EU Council president Tusk will meet chancellor Merkel at a castle retreat in Germany on Thursday as part of preparations for the Brexit summit in Bratislava.

Under-fire Merkel defends migration policy

The German chancellor sticks by her welcoming policy towards migrants, while a poll suggests more than 50 percent of Germans do not want her to stand for a fourth term in office.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EU2017EELocal Leaders Push for Local and Regional Targets to Address Climate Change
  2. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceMore Women Than Men Have Died From Heart Disease in Past 30 Years
  3. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  4. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  5. ECPAFood waste in the field can double without crop protection. #WithOrWithout #pesticides
  6. EU2017EEEstonia Allocates €1 Million to Alleviate Migratory Pressure From Libya in Italy
  7. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen's Message on the Anniversary of the Coup Attempt in Turkey
  8. Martens CentreWeeding out Fake News: An Approach to Social Media Regulation
  9. European Jewish CongressEJC Concerned by Normalisation of Antisemitic Tropes in Hungary
  10. Counter BalanceOut for Summer Episode 1: How the EIB Sweeps a Development Fiasco Under the Rug
  11. CESICESI to Participate in Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee on Postal Services
  12. ILGA-EuropeMalta Keeps on Rocking: Marriage Equality on Its Way

Latest News

  1. EU and Turkey fail to defuse tensions
  2. European law will apply 'for years' in the UK, says EU judge
  3. US votes to sanction EU firms in Russia project
  4. Journalists on trial highlight Turkey crackdown
  5. EU to give research tips on dual food quality
  6. Polish president's veto leaves uncertainties over next move
  7. EU Commission unmoved by Polish president's veto
  8. UK presses the Brexit pause button