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Germany takes the EU Council presidency, setting post-COVID priorities

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Analysis. The whole future of the EU will play out during the next chapter of EU governance, from the post-COVID rebuilding, the development of the Green New Deal and European sovereignty.

written by Anna Maria Merlo

Topic European Union


July 4, 2020

As of Wednesday, Germany holds the six-monthly presidency of the EU Council, a rotating role which, most importantly, gives the country holding it the power to set the agenda, i.e. the priorities of the EU and the speed with which they are addressed, as well as a subtle power to seek compromise.

But the EU is going through such a difficult period, due to the shocks of COVID and its economic consequences, with the GDP at minus 8% and job losses, that enormous expectations have been built up about the next six months and the role of Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is leading her second six-monthly EU presidency (the first had been in 2007, two years after the French and Dutch double “no” to the Constitutional Treaty which was supposed to be the way out of the Lisbon Treaty).

Merkel will make her debut next week in front of the European Parliament, in a plenary session in Brussels. The first deadline........

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