Sunday

14th Apr 2024

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

Get the EU news that really matters

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.

Magazine

Parliament should have 'initiation' role

As EU leaders are keen to transform the way politics is performed in the bloc, the constitutionals affairs committee will play a key role in the next five years in reforming electoral processes and initiating laws.

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.

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.

Interview

EU should use 'all means' to end war in Gaza: Belgian minister

The EU should use "all means" possible to end the violence in Gaza, including sanctions, a peace conference, and a review of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, Belgian development cooperation minister Caroline Gennez told EUobserver.

Opinion

The Bolsonaro-Orbán far-right nexus

Defeated far-right Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has given various reasons for sheltering at the Hungarian embassy in Brasilia — none of them make sense.

Latest News

  1. UK-EU deal on Gibraltar only 'weeks away'
  2. Belgium declares war on MEPs who took Russian 'cash'
  3. Brussels Dispatches: Foreign interference in the spotlight
  4. Calling time on Amazon's monopolism and exploitation
  5. Resist backlash on deforestation law, green groups tell EU
  6. China's high-quality development brings opportunities to the world
  7. Ukraine tops aid list again, but EU spending slumps
  8. Who did Russia pay? MEPs urge spies to give names

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic Food Systems Takeover at COP28
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersHow women and men are affected differently by climate policy
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersArtist Jessie Kleemann at Nordic pavilion during UN climate summit COP28
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP28: Gathering Nordic and global experts to put food and health on the agenda
  5. Friedrich Naumann FoundationPoems of Liberty – Call for Submission “Human Rights in Inhume War”: 250€ honorary fee for selected poems
  6. World BankWorld Bank report: How to create a future where the rewards of technology benefit all levels of society?

Join EUobserver

EU news that matters

Join us