Last week the E.U. summit ended on a high note, producing an agreement that was going to put an end to the refugee crisis that has been rocking the EU. Today, the rejection of the deal by Horst Seehofer, Interior minister of Germany and leader of CSU (Christian Social Union), as inadequate, sends political shockwaves across Europe.
Mr. Seehofer requested chancellor Merkel to find a solution to the problem through a deal with other E.U. members, that would put a stop to asylum seekers’ free movement in the E.U. Otherwise, he was going to instruct the police to turn people away at the borders.
Chancellor Merkel made her intentions clear; she opposes any such move and anyone that would issue such a directive is a dissenter.
Clearly, any dissent or insubordination must be dealt with harshly. In this case, however, that might be a very tricky thing to do. CSU has been the staunch ally of CDU for the last seven decades, and is a powerhouse of political influence in Bavaria. In the event of CSU leaving the government, CDU loses parliamentary majority.
In Germany, the CDU and CSU alliance is called ‘the union’. The two parties hold the same parliamentary group in the Bundestag and the German law forbids parties in the same group to compete in elections against each other. So, CSU participates in elections only in Bavaria and the CDU to the rest 16 states. The two parties are center right, but the CSU, reflecting the rural Catholic south, is more conservative in some social issues.
The regional elections in October have put the pressure on CSU’s leadership. They fear AfD will gain the upper hand with their tough stance on migration, and they are not willing to let Bavaria go — even at the cost of their alliance.
One of the biggest issues for Mr. Seehofer is secondary migration. Free movement within the E.U. that was designed initially to allow the citizens of the member states of the European Union to work and move inside the E.U. freely, allows asylum seekers, after registering in one country, to move to any E.U. country they want. The now rejected plan stated that anyone entering would remain in the country of registration.
Remain is a soft word for incarnated in refugee camps. Of course, allowing anyone that appears at any border to get in could cause problems. But on the other hand, refugee camps on the Greek islands, or any place for that matter, is not exactly paradise, and a large number of people don’t deserve the suffering while waiting for a decision.
The totally wrong approach of the E.U. to certain issues, from the wording used to policies implemented to the unicorn idealism that was tried to be enforced unilaterally, gave power to people whose electoral victories paint a bleak future for the European continent.