France, Germany vow to boost European Union defense and security

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron attend a bilateral meeting at the German government guesthouse Meseberg Palace in Meseberg, Germany, June 19, 2018.

Seehofer has been calling for Germany to turn back migrants previously registered as asylum-seekers in other European countries.

Seehofer struck a more conciliatory tone when he told Bild on Sunday that "it is not in the CSU's interest to topple the chancellor, to dissolve the CDU-CSU union or to break up the coalition".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel faced a tense showdown yesterday (14 June) within her divided conservative camp over the flashpoint issue of immigration that could threaten her political future.

Merkel stressed Monday that she doesn't want to see Germany unilaterally turn back migrants at its borders, as Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has been advocating.

Some political analysts have speculated that the CSU manufactured the showdown with Merkel in an attempt to mobilize right-wing voters ahead of critical Bavarian state elections in October. But he said the aim should be a "consensual solution" and wrote that it was "of decisive significance that the European Union summit at the end of June finally makes decisions that recognize Germany's burdens in migrant policy".

She said there would be no "automatic action" and issued a warning that she was in charge of implementing measures - a thinly veiled threat that she can sack him if he goes his own way.

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

"So much progress has been made, we can't let all slip away now.

Ms. Merkel is insisting that Germany abide by a pan-European solution while her partners are pressing for a German only policy response", said Boris Schlossberg, managing director of FX strategy at BK Asset Management.

National contributions and European resources would be used to fund the budget, the leaders said in the declaration. He said, if Merkel's negotiations on getting other countries to take back migrants don't bear fruit, he will talk with her party but "I want be able to put this into effect".

A government-sponsored study published in January showed that violent crime had risen about 10 percent in 2015 and 2016, attributing more than 90 percent of the rise to young male asylum seekers. Seehofer has been a long-standing critic of the so-called "open-door policy". About 700,000 people sought asylum in EU countries previous year, down 44 per cent from 2016, according to figures released Monday by the European Asylum Support Agency.

Merkel's decision in 2015 to open doors for refugees fleeing conflicts and persecution was widely criticized by conservative media outlets, and was exploited by the far-right and populist parties.

The office said 728,470 application requests were made for global protection in 2017, compared to nearly 1.3 million applications the previous year.