Migration: Weber/Söder demand: Europe must become defensible

At the end of the CSU parliamentary group meeting in Banz Monastery, CSU top politicians paint dark warnings on the wall: What if Donald Trump became US President again? The party has clear demands.

In view of the international crises and a possible election victory for Donald Trump in the USA, CSU leader Markus Söder and EPP chairman Manfred Weber are calling for Europe’s political strengthening and military build-up. “We know: the world would change if Donald Trump were re-elected,” said Weber on Thursday at the closed meeting of the Bavarian CSU state parliamentary group in Banz Monastery in Upper Franconia. Europe must prepare for this. “There are serious times ahead for the European Union. That’s why cohesion is important.” Söder, for example, advocated a common European aircraft carrier.

“The European Union is today naked in a world of storms,” ​​warned Weber. “We are not able to defend ourselves in defense matters. That is the reality of the European Union.” 80 percent of NATO’s military capacity is located outside the EU: in the USA, Great Britain or Turkey. That’s why we need to strengthen the Bundeswehr – and now also create entry into defense structures at the European level. “We have to become strong enough to protect our own interests.”

Europe must become defensible and so strong “that we can secure peace,” emphasized the chairman of the conservative European People’s Party and the EPP group in the European Parliament.

Söder said: “There is a lack of any strategy in the event that Trump is elected.” It is very much hoped that US President Joe Biden will be re-elected in November because he is the better partner for Europe. Trump would also make deals without Europe and over Europe’s head. That’s why Europe now needs a strategy.

Söder also spoke out in favor of “large European defense projects”. A common European aircraft carrier, which is jointly equipped by the member states, could have an “important signaling effect”. “We also need European defense projects that make us stronger together.”

The Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama was also a guest at the CSU retreat – the CSU spoke to him in particular about migration policy. Söder described the controversial refugee agreement between Italy and Albania as a possible model for Europe: “Such a solution could actually help.”

In the fall, the socialist Rama signed a declaration of intent together with Italy’s right-wing Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, according to which Italy wants to operate two refugee camps on Albanian soil. The aim is to curb migration across the Mediterranean to Italy and thus to the EU. However, there are doubts in both countries as to whether this is legally feasible.

Söder said he considered this model to be more convincing than the British intention to set up reception camps in Rwanda. Rama stressed that everything Albania does is in accordance with the laws and values ​​of the European Union.

Weber called on the Greens to give up resistance to European unification on migration policy. After years of agonizing discussions, an agreement was reached on European reform in December. However, a majority for this in the European Parliament is not guaranteed because of the Greens’ stance. Failure would play into the hands of right-wing populists, said Weber.