On 1 July Germany takes over at the helm of the Council of the European Union for half a year. In a government statement on 18 June about the Presidency, Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “This is a duty that I am looking forward to immensely, and that the entire German government is looking forward to. Europe needs us, just as we need Europe – not only as a historical legacy, which we were given as a present, but as a project that will lead us into the future.”
The Chancellor underlined the need to shape Europe. “Europe is an open, dynamic order for peace and liberty, which we can and must keep improving.”
During its Presidency, Germany will again have a greater responsibility for helping to shape Europe, stressed Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas last week. “Germany wants to be a driving force and facilitator during its Presidency of the Council of the EU. Our task will be to build bridges and find solutions that ultimately benefit everyone in Europe.”
Major priorities will include important issues for the future, such as climate action, digital sovereignty and Europe’s role in the world, alongside post-COVID-19 recovery.