“Beyond the European Council: Domestic Politics Drives the Migration “Crisis” in Italy and Germany”, Gianni Bonvicini (IAI, Italy)

EU migration policy emerged as the main bone of contention at the recent European Council meeting on 28-29 June 2018. Previously, when Emmanuel Macron gave his visionary speech on the future of the Union at Sorbonne University in late September, the Council meeting was billed as a key appointment on the long journey of European economic governance reform, with a common Eurozone budget meant to emerge as its centrepiece.

Ultimately, following that speech, Macron had to wait many months until mid-June, as German political parties agreed on a difficult coalition government, eventually allowing Angela Merkel to prudently come forth and agree to some of the French President’s proposals.

Yet, those weeks also coincided with a heightening of disagreements among the 27 member states of the Union on the future of EU migration policy, heralding a significant political crisis across Europe. So much so, that Jean-Claude Junker, President of the EU Commission, felt compelled to call an emergency pre-Council summit on Sunday 24 June to seek common ground ahead of the formal Council meeting.

Read the full paper here.