To start the week, Merkel meets with the leaders from core EU and euro-zone members France and Italy. Although the summit in Bratislava will feature 24 other countries, these three set the agenda (and that’s being generous to France and Italy). Holed away at a retreat on the island of Ventonene, the discussions will establish the tone of the negotiations to come about how the EU forges ahead without the UK.
The only Brit Merkel will encounter during her week of European diplomacy is the Duke of Cambridge at a gala to mark the 70th anniversary of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, where the British military maintains a large presence. Prince William “will briefly meet with the Chancellor,” according to the embassy. Brexit is unlikely to come up.
After a cabinet meeting in Berlin, Merkel heads to Estonia to meet with the prime minister of one of the EU’s newer members. NATO’s center for cybersecurity is based in Tallinn, and the chancellor will pay a visit.
The morning in Tallinn will feature more tours of hyper-connected Estonia’s various tech sites, chaperoned by president Toomas Hendrik Ilves. And then to Prague, for talks at the official residence of the Czech prime minister.
Merkel meets the Polish prime minister for one-to-one talks in the morning, before a lunch with leaders from the four “Visegrad” countries, which besides Poland include the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia. All four have strong anti-EU movements and outspoken critics of Germany’s refugee policies. Then, it’s back to Berlin for a friendlier dinner with leaders from the northern quartet of Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, and Sweden.
At the official state guest house outside of Berlin, the baroque Meseberg Castle, Merkel welcomes the leaders of Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Slovenia to round out her week of diplomacy: six days, six cities, and meetings with 15 government leaders and one prince.