The most important task will be to work together and in a forward-looking manner to successfully master the challenges of the pandemic on a durable basis. Germany will place itself at the service of Europe and will do everything in its power to ensure that the European Union and its Member states emerge strengthened from the crisis.

By assuming the Presidency, Germany has taken on the role of “honest broker” and will seek to find compromises and solutions among the Member states in the Council. Our national positions will thus move into the background so that we can play a mediating role among the positions of the 27 EU Member states. Especially at an extraordinary time such as this, the overriding goal of the German Presidency will be to ensure that the Member states come together to reach good joint outcomes to the benefit of the EU and its Member states.

Germany has adopted a programme for its Presidency and has thus set clear priorities. The focus will be on overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic in the long term and economic recovery, a stronger and more innovative Europe, a fair and sustainable Europe; a Europe of security and common values; a Europe capable of taking action in the world.

The crisis has clearly revealed Europe’s weaknesses as well as its strengths: during this crisis, no region in the world has acted in the spirit of solidarity which the European Union has shown. Solidarity, economic and social security as well as the capability to find compromises are what make the European Union unique. In this spirit, we want to work together to tackle the major issues that will define our future such as climate change mitigation, the digital revolution or the transformation of the job market. More than ever, we have to remember that only by working together can we make Europe strong again.