EU's 5-Point Migration Problem in a Nutshell

The migration problem in the EU is unsolvable. Competing political positions explain why.

Five-Point Synopsis

  1. Germany Merkel's CDU: Seek a consensus solution under existing EU rules.
  2. Germany Seehofer's CSU: Turn them back at the border (i.e. Send them back to Italy through Austria)
  3. Italy Five Star and the League: Change the "Dublin Rules" which state migrants must apply for asylum in the first country in which they land. Italy wants to distribute existing migrants throughout EU. It also supports "safe areas" in Africa.
  4. Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia: All refuse new migrants
  5. Austria: Austria's Prime Minister, Sebastian Kurz, wants quotas and "safe areas" in refugees' countries of origin. In a controversial twist, he said Brussels should organize it and "back it militarily."

There are other positions such as that of Barcelona's Mayor who openly welcomes migrants.

In contrast, Viktor Orban, Hungary’s prime minister, accuses migrants of destroying “Christian Europe”.

On July 1, Austria will take over the position of the Presidency of the EU Council. The position rotates every six months.

Austria's stated goals on March 1 included this item: The fight against illegal immigration by securing external borders.

Not Solvable!

Anyone who thinks this is solvable under existing EU rules is downright crazy. Heck, it is not solvable at all.

Yet, Merkel was foolish enough to ask CSU leader Horst Seehofer for two weeks to solve the problem.

Under German law, Seehofer has the right to implement policy in Bavaria. He threatened to "send them back". Also under German law, Merkel can fire Seehofer.

If she fires Seehofer, as I expect, it will be the end of the CDU-CSU coalition.

And by foolishly asking for time (and getting it), Merkel, not Seehofer, will take the blame.

Her own stubborn arrogance will have done her in.

Libertarian Position

Some readers suggest that open immigration is a Libertarian position. Indeed, it is. But free benefits are not.

We can condense the EU's unsolvable problem down to one statement: Open migration is not compatible with free education, free services, free lodging, etc.

I have some US friends who will disagree. But the US also has another barrier: oceans. The EU is reachable by land or the Mediterranean Sea.

For discussion, please see Trump's Immoral Immigration Tactics: What's the Libertarian View?

Don't Downplay the US Role in This Mess

US warmongering policies in Libya, Syria, and Iraq kicked off the current wave of migrants into the EU.

It's easy (and correct) to blame Merkel, but few point to the US for its role in this madness.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (13)
No. 1-13

Not only are free benefits not a libertarian position, illegal immigration is not either. Let's be clear about legal vs. illegal immigration. The U.S. for example has close to 15 million illegals. I don't think sneaking into countries undocumented is a libertarian position.


Funny how none of the rich Arab countries (and richer on a per capita basis than any EU country) take in ANY muslim moochers. Maybe they know something...


Actually League in Italy has gone full-Merkel and started demanding that there should be EU asylum centers in Africa taking asylum applications to come to Europe and giving out asylums in Europe for people applying for asylum in these EU asylum centers in Africa. Conte the Italy prime minister said these demands of putting EU asylum processing centers in origin and transit countries of asylum seekers and giving out asylums to europe in them to Merkel and Macron and they both supported the idea. Salvini visited Libya today and wanted to put such center in southern Libya but Libya said NO! Of course to anyone with a brain it is clear putting EU asylum centers in Africa would lead to millions going to the centers to ask asylum from Europe every year and millions getting it every year meaning millions of new african refugees to Europe every year. So either Salvini and Conte are both really dumb and do not understand what they are actually demanding or transporting millions african refugees to Europe every year is a good idea in their mind.


well the answer is apparent , stop the warmongering . We really lost credibility with germany. they take in millions of refugees due to our interventionist policies and we then slap a tariff on their products. US exceptionalism at its finest . The Austrian approach is the most viable


Seehofer demands a strange thing because seehofer demands that germany should turn away at the border asylum seekers that have been registered in some other eu country and this is a strange thing to have a "fight" with Merkel about because under current Dublin agreement these can be returned as dublin returns in couple days to the eu country where they were registered so seehofer is fighting with Merkel over a non-issue. . The only reasons i can think of for having this "fight" is that it is political posing making both look tough to different voter Groups OR germany has not done dublin returns at all that it could have done under Merkel leaving tens of thousands people that germany could have returned to the eu country where they registered (mainly italy, greece registered under 1% of people going thru it in 2015) to live in germany instead as merkel's political decision and seehofer and merkel are trying to hide this from german voters with their fight. When Merkel met Macron after the fight with seehofer she said to media as accomplishment that macron had promised to take back asylum seekers registered in France that go to Germany to seek asylum. The reality is that Macron is already obligated to take these back as dublin returns in a couple days so it was a non-accomplishment from Merkel. . One option is that neither Merkel nor Seehofer know how Dublin returns work and what is written in the Dublin agreement and the german bureaucrats at BAMF german asylum agency have not told them and have not done dublin returns. Seehofer recently fired the lady who was the head of BAMF so this is possible too. . In sunday's meeting with 16 eu leaders that Merkel convened with Claude "you have to lie when it's serious" Juncker after the fight with seehofer there was talk of creating an automatic and obligatory eu relocation system for asylum seekers that would spread people coming to greece and italy around eu countries quickly. This would of course mean that what austria and slovenia did By closing their borders in early 2016 and so closing the route from greece to welfare countries so crashing the arrivals to greece by 90% ( merkels turkey deal later took care of the rest) would be reversed and greece would again be a shortcut to germany and sweden and other welfare countries. This would cause millions to come because there are almost 4 million syrians living in turkey in safety and i am sure many would use this new opportunity to get to germany and saaden. In 2015 Greece pushed over 1 million people north that came to greece from turkey where they were already safe and greece itself registered just 11 000 asylum seekers (no welfare in greece). When it comes to Italy they also left over 50% of the people they saved at sea un-registered hoping they ask for asylum from some other country. In 2014 Italy saved 170 000 people from the sea and only registered 70 000 as asylum seekers meaning they pushed 100 000 asylum seekers to rest of Europe. France had to do something so in summer 2015 hollande ordered french border police to stop all migrants at the border so they stopped both asylum seekers that were un-registered and that were registered in italy at the border and french border police do not accept asylum claims at the border because neighbors are safe countries. The sad fact is that germany could have done since 2015 what France has done since 2015 but it is 2018 and seehofer and merkel are play-fighting about a non-issue of stopping asylum seekers already registered in some eu country at the german border despite dublin agreement enablin dublin returns easily in a couple days for those already registered...