German, French leaders meet to mold plans for EU's future

Ahead of Macron meeting, Merkel insists migration needs 'European answer'

Merkel opposed the move, arguing that Germany should work with other European Union countries to find a common solution to the problem.

Former Bavarian premier Guenther Beckstein suggested on Saturday that one way out might be for Germany to agree to the CSU policy but to implement it only after the EU summit, to give Merkel time to deliver her "European solution".

Chancellor Angela Merkel's Bavarian allies were expected Monday to decide how far to push in a dispute with the German leader over migration, a conflict that has escalated into a threat to her government.

Merkel has cautiously come around in recent weeks, but she may not have much political room to manoeuvre further.

"We share goal of better ordering migration and reducing number of refugees", Merkel said at a press conference in Berlin, referring to aspirations of CSU.

The interior minister now wants to turn away at the border new arrivals who have previously been registered in another European Union country - often their first port of call, Italy or Greece.

The EU border agency Frontex said more than 90 percent of those arriving in Italy, Greece and Spain register for asylum there.

Though arrival numbers have always been decreasing and are now low, migration has shot back to the top of Europe's political agenda also because German Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition partner issued an ultimatum for an EU-wide deal on migration.

There is even talk that the 70-year-old conservative alliance between the CSU and Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) could fall apart.

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But the interior minister was forced to cancel a planned presentation of his vision after Merkel disagreed with his proposal to turn some asylum seekers away at the borders, sparking last week's dramatic escalation of discord within the conservative bloc. But the state has since soured on such generosity.

Merkel's open-door migrant policy is widely blamed for the rise of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) who are now the main opposition party in parliament.

The chancellor and her Christian Democrats pledged in the agreement defining the terms of their government that 2015 would remain an exception that was not to be repeated.

Macron said details were intentionally being kept general on the budget idea at the moment, so that other member nations would be able to have their voices heard.

"Again! Trump just repeated his false claim that crime in Germany is up due to immigration". It was supposed to be put before the Cabinet last week, but Merkel refused to approve the point about turning back people at the borders.

In their joint declaration, the leaders cautioned that "if member states started to act unilaterally, this would end up in an overall increase of migration into Europe".

But Merkel says that would leave countries at the EU's southern periphery alone to deal with the migrant influx.

Trump's threat to reduce USA funding for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation unless European members step up their contributions could also lead to new measures for strengthening EU defence cooperation.

"A European solution is the only acceptable way".

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