This past week....the Chancellor (Angela Merkel) showed up at the EU headquarters in Brussels to deliver a speech.
The basic tone for the speech was.....a unity position that if you were a EU member....you would show a willing nature to accept migrants and immigrants, or lose funding from the EU.
It was a blunt message for Poland, Czech, and Hungary. To be honest, it was aimed at all other 27 members.
Laying down the new government coming in Germany (the coalition deal)....she proclaimed that they were going to be an all-out pro-EU team.
What happens if the EU did carry out this threat, and blocked funding going to member states? No one has said a lot over this, but I think you'd see the members affected just freeze sending money to the EU.
The way that this whole thing works....each nation has a marked card to send X-amount of money to the EU. They create their own tax base, based on how they feel the public will accept things. Once the EU gets the cash....it goes into a big bucket. The EU has two primary ways to spend through that money. The first is to spend it on themselves (pensions, office money, and salary for the members). The second way is 'gifts' back to each member state to show them the power of the EU.
Grants are generally given out to various cities, and everyone is hyped up to brag how the EU favored them and gave them a massive bucket of money for some education project, or some bridge project.
If members were cut off from the pay-out....I suspect that they'd question their contribution and just start to delay it.
So after Merkel gave this message, and got some criticism.....the new Austrian Chancellor stood up. Sebastian Kurz. Young guy. Very direct.
He basically said all this Merkel 'chat' was fine and such....but until you secured the borders and stopped the migrant flow, no one felt the need to get happy about the 200,000 migrants that Merkel is trying to find a home for (out of Greece and Italy). And each month, that number of people waiting for an exodus grows.
Why any of this is hyped up now? Well....here's the problem going ahead. The EU election in the summer of 2019.
There's a fair amount of anxiety in both Greece and Italy about this large number of migrants in temporary centers created by the EU. These 200,000 people were supposed to have moved on by now. In these two countries, there might be a huge right-wing anti-migrant political election, and a fair number of the right-wing folks would arrive at the EU in the fall of 2019.
Adding to this mess....across all of Europe, there's more and more anxiety about the EU migrant theme pushed by Merkel. It too....will affect the EU election.
In a way, the EU system was supposed to be this 'charming' group of intellectual socialists who led the continent onto great and wonderful things. If one out of three members of the EU were right-wing and anti-migrant....well, it'd be a pretty big mess, and you'd start to worry about 2024 (the next EU election), and whether a majority of right-wing folks then existed.
So Merkel is working against a clock now. Adding to the mess....more and more migrants make their way to the smuggler route, and add to the 200,000. Kurz has a point in that a EU stance has to be eventually taken, and it'll be a confrontational moment against the Merkel theme.