German Presidency of the Council of the European Union, July to December 2020

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Publication Date 2020
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Overview and information relating to the German presidency of the Council of the European Union, running from 1 July to 31 December 2020.

Further information:

Germany held the Presidency for the 13th time since the signing of the Treaties of Rome. The last time Germany had held this role was in 2007.

The German Presidency is the first of a new Presidency Trio, which also includes Portugal and Slovenia. The original plans for their Presidency strategy were adapted in light of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. The health, economic and social consequences of the crisis became the overarching matter on the agenda, with a focus on the future. The main action areas were defined as follows:

  • Overcoming the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic + economic recovery;
  • Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027;
  • Negotiations on the future EU-UK relationship;
  • Other topics, including digital transformation, climate change and Europe's role in the world.

The plans for the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union were presented by Chancellor Angela Merkel on 18 June. A meeting with the President of the European Commission marked the beginning of the Presidency on 2 July. Ms Merkel addressed the plenary of the European Parliament to present the priorities of the German Presidency on 8 July.

Related Links
Commentary and Analysis
Politico: Special Reports: Berlin in Brussels
ECFR: Article, 15/10/2019: Germany at the helm: Can it bring Europe together in 2020?
Deutsche Welle, 30/12/2019: Germany could make big EU impact in 2020
Europa Nu: Analysis, 27/02/2020: German Council Presidency – Game changer or paralyzing factor?
Politico, 30/04/2020: German ‘corona presidency’ plan pivots to crisis management
IPS Journal, 07/05/2020: Germany has a lot on its plate during the EU Council presidency
EPC: Online Events, 04/06/2020: Germany’s priorities for the Presidency of the Council of the European Union
Politico, 16/06/2020: Brexit deal’s last hope: Germany
Hertie School: Jacques Delors Centre: Policy Brief, 22/06/2020: Managing expectations - The German Council Presidency
EurActiv, 23/06/2020: German EU Presidency: Influenced by lobbyists?
TEPSA: Recommendations from members of the TEPSA network to the German Presidency (24 June 2020)
FIIA: Briefing Paper, 25/06/2020: Germany’s EU Council presidency: Navigating the post-Covid political landscape
The Guardian, 26/06/2020: 'For Europe to survive, its economy needs to survive': Angela Merkel interview in full
The Economist, 27/06/2020: Germany is doomed to lead Europe
SWP: Comments (2020/C 33), June 2020: A Corona Presidency in the Coronavirus Crisis? The Dual Task of the German Presidency: Containing the Crisis and Giving a Lasting Impetus to European Solidarity and Autonomy
IFRI: Notes du Cerfa (No 152), July 2020: Captain in the Storm: Challenges and opportunities for the German EU Council Presidency
The Guardian: Editorial, 28/06/2020: The Guardian view on Germany taking the EU presidency: good timing
Robert Schuman Foundation: European Issues (No 565), 29/06/2020: German presidency of the Council of the European Union: "... and suddenly everything is different."
IPS Journal, 29/06/2020: 'We’ve got to rekindle passion for the European cause'
Euronews, 30/06/2020: Germany takes on the EU's rotating six-month presidency
IPS Journal, 30/06/2020: A new democratic impulse for Europe
Munich Security Conference: News, 30/06/2020: Munich Security Brief: "The Enabling Power. Germany's European Imperative"
Elcano Royal Institute: Expert Comment (No 26/20), 30/06/2020: A plea for the German Presidency: invest boldly and smartly in the future of Europe
Deutsche Welle, 01/07/2020: Angela Merkel's last EU Council Presidency — what to expect
EurActiv: Video, 01/07/2020: Germany’s ‘crisis’ EU Presidency explained
LSE: EUROPP Blog, 01/07/2020: Germany’s heavy burden
Euro|topics, June-July 2020: Angela Merkel: the right leader at the right time?
IEP Berlin: Blog, 01/07/2020: Germany’s EU Council Presidency 2020 — Achieving more than managing expectations in challenging times
Euronews, 01/07/2020: Angela Merkel’s Council presidency will be a critical test for EU solidarity
GMFUS: Blog, 01/07/2020: Germany Should Not be an Honest Broker with the EU’s Autocrats
DGAP: Press Release, 01/07/2020: Expectations for the Germany's EU Council Presidency
EPRS: Blog, 01/07/2020: Priority Dossiers Under The German EU Council Presidency
Institut Montaigne: Blog: Interview, 03/07/2020: The German Presidency of the European Union: Priorities and Stakes
UK in a Changing Europe: Analysis, 03/07/2020: The German Council presidency and Brexit
Euro|topics, July 2020: Merkel in Brussels: take "Community" literally

EurActiv: Topics: German EU Presidency 2020
Reuters, 12/04/2020: Coronavirus will dominate agenda of Germany's EU presidency: minister
Euronews, 18/06/2020: Merkel warns of 'permanent deep rift' in Europe over COVID-19 response
EurActiv, 24/06/2020: German EU Presidency: Government sets priorities as ‘motor and moderator of Europe’
RFI News, 29/06/2020: Merkel, Macron meet as Germany takes on high-stakes EU presidency
Reuters, 30/06/2020: Merkel's mission for EU presidency: 'Make Europe strong again'
AP News, 30/06/2020: Germany takes EU hot seat with big challenges, expectations
EurActiv, 01/07/2020: Merkel’s legacy at stake as Germany takes EU reins
France24, 01/07/2020: Germany assumes EU presidency as Merkel pushes for massive bloc-wide recovery plan
RFI News, 01/07/2020: Germany to lead push for Covid recovery plan as it takes on EU presidency
EurActiv, 01/07/2020: German EU Presidency: Berlin to lead on EU economic policy
EUObserver, 02/07/2020: Merkel warns of gaps as Germany takes EU helm
Euronews, 08/07/2020: EU recovery package in spotlight as Angela Merkel addresses European Parliament
EurActiv, 08/07/2020: Merkel asks EU Parliament for ‘willingness to compromise’ ahead of mini-summit
Deutsche Welle, 08/07/2020: Germany's Angela Merkel calls for EU unity on coronavirus recovery
Reuters, 08/07/2020: Germany's Merkel says EU must prepare for no-deal Brexit
Bloomberg, 08/07/2020: Merkel Urges EU to Rise to the Biggest Challenge in Its History
EUObserver, 08/07/2020: Merkel urges EU unity to hold off economic fallout and populism
Politico, 08/07/2020: Merkel calls for swift deal on EU budget and recovery package
France24, 08/07/2020: Covid-19 has exposed the limits of 'fact-denying populism', Merkel tells European Parliament

Official Website of the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union
Germany: Federal Government: A brief explanation of Germany's Presidency of the Council of the European Union
Trio Programme of the Council of the European Union (1 July 2020 - 31 December 2021)
General Secretariat of the Council: 2020 German EU Presidency
Goethe Institut: EU 2020: The Goethe-Institut for Europe
European Parliament: Headlines, 01/07/2020: “Together for Europe’s recovery”: Germany takes over Council presidency
Germany: Federal Chancellor: News, 01/07/2020: Germany Assumes Presidency of the Council of the European Union - "Filling the motto of the Presidency with life"
Germany: Federal Foreign Office: Press Release, 01/07/2020: Foreign Minister Maas on today’s start of Germany’s EU Council Presidency
European Commission: News, 02/07/2020: Next six months crucial for the EU, says von der Leyen at the start of the German Presidency of the Council of the EU
European Commission: Remarks by President von der Leyen at the joint press conference with Angela Merkel, Federal Chancellor of Germany, on the beginning of the German Presidency of the Council of the EU (2 July 2020)
Germany: Federal Chancellor: News, 02/07/2020: Discussion with the European Commission - Focus on overcoming the crisis and on the future
European Parliament: Press Release, 07/07/2020: German Presidency outlines priorities to EP committees
European Parliament: Press Release, 08/07/2020: Angela Merkel presents German Presidency priorities to the European Parliament
European Commission: Speech by President von der Leyen at the European Parliament Plenary on the presentation of the programme of activities of the German Presidency of the Council of the EU (8 July 2020)
European Parliament: Press Release, 04/09/2020: German Presidency outlines priorities to EP committees

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