The focus of the joint presidency will be on overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to learn the right lessons from the crisis and work together in driving forward the economic and social reconstruction of Europe, stressed Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, Portugal’s Prime Minister António Costa and Slovenia’s Prime Minister Janez Janša following their joint video conference.

Stronger, more equitable, more sustainable

Europe is to be stronger, more equitable and more sustainable as it emerges from the coronavirus pandemic, said the three heads of government. The aim is to strengthen the European Union’s resilience to pandemic crises for the long term, they added. Overcoming the coronavirus pandemic and ensuring the rapid economic and social reconstruction of Europe will form the focus of the trio presidency.

The presidency trio was agreed that measures for climate protection and the digital transformation must be at the forefront of this reconstruction. The strategic autonomy and digital sovereignty of the European Union are to be reinforced and its capacities for defence against cyber attacks are to be expanded.

Europe's role in the world

Continuing to extend the role of the European Union as an active global player is another joint objective of Germany, Portugal and Slovenia for the next 18 months. Among other things, relations between the European Union and key international partners such as China, India and Africa are to be strengthened during the trio presidency of the Council of the EU.