The accord became more likely in recent weeks, given Mr. Seehofer’s hints in this
The CDU and Chancellor Merkel have paved the way for the confirmation
of this traditional cooperation by moving to a more restrictive asylum policy
stance over the course of the past year. The revised policy approach is based on
new laws and regulations from the federal government which reduced benefits for
immigrants and lowers the barriers to deportations, among others.
The refugee influx has also lost relevance as an explosive political topic, given the substantial
decrease in the relevant figure from about 900,000 in 2015 to 280,000 in the
past year and around 200,000 in 2017 extrapolating recent numbers. Also, the
nomination of the popular Martin Schulz as the SPD‘s chancellor candidate is
likely to have forced the two parties to come to terms.
After the nomination a few days ago Mr. Seehofer, e.g., stated that it
would make the campaign more challenging.