A showdown over immigration between Merkel and her conservative CSU allies has escalated in the last week but on Sunday there were signs of a possible compromise when Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, who is CSU chairman, said the row could be overcome.
Both Macron and Merkel highlighted the need for the EU's external borders to be strengthened by boosting the so-called Frontex border and coast-guard agency. Migration is "a European challenge that requires a European answer", Merkel said in her weekly podcast released Saturday.
Merkel, arguing that the issue must be resolved at the European Union level, has pledged to reach deals with transit and arrival countries in the narrow two-week window ending with the Brussels summit. "We don't want what is happening with immigration in Europe to happen with us!" he said.
Merkel must now attempt to forge a deal by an EU summit on Thursday and Friday next week, and report back to her Christian Democratic Union on July 1.
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Merkel has faced opposition at home for a decision in 2015 to open Germany's borders to hundreds of thousands of migrants, mostly Middle Eastern asylum seekers who crossed by sea from Turkey to Greece and overland through the Balkans.
Her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its sister party CSU have suffered heavy losses in the country's federal elections a year ago, while the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) scored record gains and entered the parliament for the first time.
The Bavarian governor said that he would welcome a "truly effective European regulation" but warned against delaying the matter with a superficial and non-binding resolution at the June EU summit. The CSU is determined to show that it's tough on migration as it faces a challenging October state election in Bavaria, and argues that that is the best way to cut support for the far-right Alternative for Germany.
By contrast, Merkel has warned of a resulting domino effect as Germany's neighbors rush to shutter their internal Schengen borders and is calling for a joint European solution to the "refugee crisis" to be reached within the next two weeks.
NELSON: At her own news conference, Merkel said she agrees the asylum process needs to be streamlined.
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.
Hours later, Merkel met in Berlin with Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte, the head of a new, populist government whose interior minister has pledged to deport tens of thousands of migrants.