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The guiding principles of Germany’s Council Presidency are as follows:

  • overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic permanently, as well as the economic recovery
  • a stronger and more innovative Europe
  • a fair Europe
  • a sustainable Europe
  • a Europe of security and common values
  • a strong Europe in the world.

Overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic is a key focus of Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Only by containing the COVID-19 virus in the long term, investing in Europe’s economy, fully exploiting our innovative potential and strengthening social cohesion can the European Union and its Member States overcome the crisis effectively and permanently. During Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union, we will do all we can to get to grips with this task together and in a targeted manner and to help Europe to recover. Our objective is for Europe to emerge stronger, more sustainable and more just from this crisis.

In the past, crises have always been an opportunity in the EU to revisit the status quo and to be even better prepared to face the challenges of the future. Together, we must focus our attention on the major transformation processes of our time such as climate change, the digital transformation and the evolving world of work. The European Union also stands for the environmental, social and economically sustainable prosperity to which it gives rise.

Germany is committed to the rapid adoption of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFR) and to the swift establishment of a recovery fund in order to bring about sustainable economic and social recovery with ambitious investments in climate protection, research and the digital transformation. In this way, the European Union can address the challenges posed by this crisis and pursue its longer-term strategic goals in a fast-changing world with renewed vigour.

In a world of increasing rivalry between major powers, European policy must strengthen Europe’s ability to act in the wider world in order to defend European interests and values and to assume our responsibility in the world. Germany is committed to an international order based on rules and human rights in which the European Union plays a role in shaping standards and norms worldwide.

Migration policy continues to be a pressing issue. Europe needs a fresh start in reforming the common asylum system. The political dialogue on the rule of law is to be strengthened among the Member States in the long term with comprehensive discussions on the basis of the Commission’s new Rule of Law Report.

Intensive negotiations on relations with the UK are to take place by the end of the year, which will be conducted on the European Union’s behalf by the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier. Germany will work to ensure the continued cohesion of the EU27. Our objective is an attractive agreement for both sides on the basis of the jointly agreed Political Declaration.