Italy and Germany are Strengthening Cooperation to Resolve Migrant Crisis

Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Renzi Agreed on the Necessary Bilateral Cooperation

May 17th, 2016

On 5th May an important bilateral meeting between Matteo Renzi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel took place in Rome. Merkel was visiting Rome to participate in a Friday ceremony for the awarding of Germany‘s famed Charlemagne Prize to Pope Francis, in recognition of his contribution to the European unity.

From the immigration emergency to the flexibility in the budgetary rules, these were the major topics which have been discussed during the two days bilateral meeting in Rome considered as the "hottest" current European’s event. Among the issues discussed, the most important was immigration. Italy and Germany agreed on how Europe should face the migrant crisis and condamned Austria's plan to build a fence at its border with Italy to stop migrants from heading to the north. Renzi's suggestion on how this effort should be financed has created some clashes in their common view. It is specifically regarding the border issue that Renzi strongly asked the Chancellor support, condemning Austria’s decision to build a fence on the border between Italy and Austria, claiming that "Brennero border is a symbol" [...] and that "Austria’s position on this border is backwards, wrong, illogical and goes against history”.

Angela Merkel fully agreed with the Italian position saying that "Europe must demonstrate that it is a valid force in the world and must come up with ways to solve problems other than shutting down borders. "We cannot shut down the borders, we must remain loyal to one another".

However, the Italian Prime Minister has shown some points of disagreement, especially on how the so-called "migration compact" should be funded. Renzi affirmed that Italy through this plan has proposed the Eurobonds mechanism as a solution, but the Germans do not share the same idea. The Chancellor is convinced that the European Union should focus on its budget and not by issuing common EU bonds. The Chancellor also affirmed that "If we concentrate on the European budget, we will find the money" she said. Despite these minor breaking points, the two leaders seemed to have built a strong alliance and have expressed the desire of working together next year at the G7 and G20 for addressing the major issues of the current international politics.


News from Berlin
Jessica Sama, CD News