Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

A rescued migrant in a Red Cross blanket after arriving in Spain. Photo: Jorge Guerrero/AFP/Getty

The clock is ticking as German Chancellor Angela Merkel seeks to save her ruling coalition and stave off a political crisis in Europe by forging an immigration deal.

The bigger picture: Italy’s new populist government sent a chill around Europe last week by turning away a boat filled with hundreds of rescued migrants. Rome is demanding the rest of Europe share the burden, but several European leaders have staked their political fortunes on keeping migrants out. Germany finds itself at the heart of this divide, and it’s unclear whether the center can hold.

The latest:

  • President Trump, facing backlash of a different kind on immigration, tweeted today that Germans are “turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition” and claimed, inaccurately, that “crime in Germany is way up.”
  • His argument: “Big mistake made all over Europe in allowing millions of people in who have so strongly and violently changed their culture!"
  • Between the lines: Germans are about five times more likely to approve of Merkel (50%) than Trump (11%), so don’t expect those tweets to damage her. That said, many in Europe agree with him.

In Germany:

  • Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, who leads the Bavarian sister party to Merkel’s CDU, is trying to fend off a challenge from the far-right ahead of regional elections. He's demanding that migrants who've been registered as asylum-seekers in other countries be turned away at the German border, leading to a split with Merkel and putting her coalition on the verge of collapse.
  • Seehofer backpedaled today, giving Merkel until July 1 to negotiate a deal with other European leaders. Erik Brattberg, director of the Carnegie Endowment's Europe program, tells Axios that after nearly 13 years in power, this is Merkel’s “most serious challenge yet" and her fate "likely depends on the outcome of the EU summit" next week.

By the numbers:

  • Immigration topped a new Eurobarometer poll on the top issues facing Europe, cited by 38% of EU residents as one of their top two concerns. That’s down from 58% at the height of the migrant crisis in 2015. However, it's the top issue in 21 of 28 member states — up from 14 just six months prior.
  • The number of migrants who arrived in Europe last year was 186,000, per the UN. That’s half the number from 2016 and a sharp decrease from 2015, when more than 1 million arrived. The majority reached Europe by sea, with 119,000 landing in Italy. About 3,000 people died trying to make the crossing.

What to watch:

  • Jeremy Cliffe, the Economist's Berlin bureau chief: “Should Merkel fail on EU reform, Seehofer must decide whether to defy her and impose new controls or back down. … No-one in Berlin honestly knows how this will end. Spain's Rajoy shows that even 'great survivors' meet their political mortality one day. But recent history also teaches that Merkel is routinely, even systematically, underestimated in moments like this.”
  • Katya Adler, BBC Europe Editor: “With anti-migration parties in gov or strong opposition in so many EU countries you could say this issue will destroy the EU, making a mockery of European ‘unity’ and pulling the block apart. Or you could say this latest migrant emergency — especially as it involves and therefore galvanises EU linchpin Germany — makes reaching a common policy more likely. Why? Because the EU’s fractious members only ever take dramatic united action when proverbial backs are against the wall.”

Go deeper

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

Screenshot of emails to a member of Congress from individuals who signed an Americans for Limited Government petition against Rep. Liz Cheney. Photo obtained by Axios

Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.

Democrats aim to punish House GOP for Capitol riot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes through a newly installed metal detector at the House floor entrance Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to take advantage of corporate efforts to cut funding for Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, with a plan to target vulnerable members in the pivotal 2022 midterms for their role in the Jan. 6 violence.

Why it matters: It's unclear whether the Democrats' strategy will manifest itself in ads or earned media in the targeted races or just be a stunt to raise money for themselves. But the Capitol violence will be central to the party's messaging as it seeks to maintain its narrow majorities in Congress.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!