Two positions in Europe's refugee policy appear to be growing increasingly irreconcilable: the appeal for countries to assume humanitarian responsibility on the one hand and the demands for secure borders on the other. The rift is apparent not just across Europe and within individual governments, but also in the commentary sections.
The Trump administration is under fire for its harsh immigration policy: UN Secretary-General António Guterres has condemned the practice of separating children from parents caught crossing the border illegally and holding them in provisional camps while their parents are put in prison. The Democrats and certain sections of the Republican party as well as First Lady Melania Trump have also criticised the practice. Commentators join the chorus of complaints.
Britain's exit will leave a ten-billion-euro hole in the EU budget. In a bid to plug the gap, cutbacks in regional funding and agricultural subsidies are planned from 2020 on. The Visegrád Group and the Baltic states already issued a joint statement last week criticising the cuts as unacceptable. Now the Romanian press is also discussing how to deal with the looming loss of subsidies.
Athens and Skopje put an end to their name dispute with a ceremony in the border town of Prespes on Sunday. The neighbours signed an agreement according to which the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (Fyrom) will be renamed the Republic of Northern Macedonia - provided the countries' parliaments and Macedonian voters agree. The media within the region and outside it are stirred up by the decision.
Slovenia is planning to sue Croatia before the European Court of Justice because the latter is refusing to recognise the ruling on the border dispute between the two EU member states. The European Commission, which according to procedural rules must adopt a clear position in the affair, did not side with Ljubljana but has only offered its services as an arbitrator. Not all Slovenian media agree with the dismay over the EU's conduct.
There is still no sign of an agreement in the dispute over Germany's asylum policy. Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) continues to insist that asylum seekers registered in another EU country should be turned back at Germany's borders. Chancellor Merkel (CDU) is calling for a pan-European solution. Commentators ask what consequences a victory for Seehofer would have, and why Merkel's position is so weak.
The Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) has elected Bertalan Tóth as its new chairman. The party, which ruled the country until Orbán's election victory in 2010, has been in decline for years, securing just 11.9 percent of the vote in the last parliamentary elections this April. Hungary's press asks whether the party can reverse this trend with its new leader.
On the very day that the Fifa World Cup kicked off the Russian government announced plans to raise the retirement age step by step from 60 to 65 for men and from 55 to 63 for women. Value added tax is also to go up from 18 to 20 percent. Some observers believe these reforms were long overdue. Others say Russia won't achieve anything with this move.
The European Central Bank has announced that it will stop its controversial bond-buying programme at the end of the year. For some commentators the move is long overdue, particularly in view of Italy's new government. Others believe the ECB's loose monetary policy helped the Eurozone survive the crisis.
The EU Commission wants to make it easier for people to balance work and family life and achieve a fairer distribution between men and women of the tasks of caring for children. But plans to introduce mandatory parental leave for fathers are meeting with opposition from Denmark's conservative and liberal coalition. The country's media examines the government's stance.
Following the legalisation of abortion representatives of doctors, the government and women's rights activists are locked in a dispute over whether individual doctors should have the right to refuse to carry out an abortion on grounds of conscience. People on both sides voice their opinions in Irish media.