Angela Merkel warns migrant crisis could ‘make or break’ EU ahead of crucial summit
Angela Merkel has warned that the migrant crisis could be “make or break” for the European Union, hours ahead of a crucial summit on migration.
The German chancellor, already under fire, spoke in front of a rowdy parliament in an attempt to win over conservative critics within her own coalition government who have threatened to bring her down.
“Europe faces many challenges, but that of migration could become the make-or-break one for the EU,” she told the Bundestag.
“Either we manage it, so others in Africa believe that we are guided by values and believe in multilateralism, not unilateralism, or nobody will believe any longer in the system of values that has made us strong. That’s why it’s so important.”
Merkel implemented an open-door policy in 2015, leading to an influx of more than a million migrants. She insists that the move at the time was an exceptional gesture to help nearby Austria and Hungary.
“We said in an exceptional situation we will help and now, as then, I think it was the right decision,” she said.
But she is now under pressure at home, with her own interior minister Horst Seehofer threatening to turn back asylum- seekers who have registered in another country at the Bavarian border.
Seehofer’s party faces regional elections in Bavaria later this year and is under pressure from the far-right Alternative for Germany party which has seen a surge in support since 2015.