Merkel’s Toughest Mission Yet

German Chancellor Angela Merkel looks out of her car window as she arrives for an EU summit at the EU Council building in Brussels on Monday, March 7, 2016. European Union leaders are holding a summit in Brussels on Monday with Turkey to discuss the current migration crisis. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)
Merkel arrives in Brussels on Monday.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel is under massive political pressure to find solutions to the refugee crisis at this week’s summit between the 28 E.U. states and Turkey.

  • Facts


    • Despite measures to stop the flow, 122,000 refugees entered the E.U. from Turkey in January and February of this year.
    • On Monday, the 28 E.U. leaders meet with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu for a key summit on the refugee crisis.
    • The European Union has promised Turkey €3 billion in aid over 2 years to help with humanitarian relief for refugees.
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Angela Merkel is leaving nothing to chance. The crucial meeting between the European Union and Turkey to discuss the refugee crisis starts on Monday, but the German chancellor was already in Brussels on Sunday, holding bilateral talks ahead of the summit itself. On Friday, she visited Paris for talks with French president, François Hollande, to work on a common European policy on the issue.

Speaking to the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, Ms. Merkel emphasized that she was sticking to her long-established course. She said she expected “that we will implement, step by step, in practical terms, what was agreed by all 28 E.U. states at the heads of government meeting in February.”

Ms. Merkel is under as much pressure as she ever has been. She must come away from the Brussels summit with some kind of success, even just a little bit. For Ms. Merkel, it is the last chance before three key regional elections to show German voters that she is making some progress on resolving the refugee crisis. The states of Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saxony-Anhalt go to the polls on March 13.

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