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Merkel presents EU Council Presidency in Brussels +++ Here you find the most important news about Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

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dpa

July 8th, 2020: Merkel presents EU Council Presidency in Brussels

Brussels (dpa) – A week after the start of Germany’s EU Council Presidency, Wednesday will see Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel present her programme to the European Parliament in Brussels. This is the CDU politician’s first trip abroad since the outbreak of the corona crisis. Merkel will be giving a speech to EU parliamentarians in the afternoon and taking questions. In the evening, Merkel will attend a meeting with EU leaders to discuss the EU’s next seven-year EU budget plan and the planned post-corona economic recovery programme. Finding a compromise for the multi-billion package is the first major challenge for the Council Presidency that began on 1 July.

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July 7th, 2020: Seehofer: treatment of boat migrants by EU states is “unworthy”

Berlin (dpa) – Germany’s Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has stepped up the pressure on his EU colleagues ahead of consultations on the emergency sea rescue of migrants in the Mediterranean. «This is a situation that is in fact unworthy of the EU», said the CSU politician. He described the current state of affairs as follows: «A ship arrives and then countries all over Europe are phoned to ask: who is willing?» Only a few of the 27 countries are willing to accept refugees, he says, adding that this paints a poor picture of Europe on the world stage. On the fringes of the talks, which he is chairing within the framework of Germany’s EU Council Presidency, Seehofer emphasised: «We are not only an economic and security community, but also a community of values. And in my opinion this community of values requires us to save people from death, to save them from drowning.»

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July 6th, 2020: EU justice ministers discuss online smear campaigns

Berlin (dpa) – EU justice ministers on Monday will be discussing the battle against hate speech, smear campaigns and conspiracy theories on the internet during the corona crisis. The restrictions on civil liberties imposed in many EU states in response to the pandemic are also on the video conference agenda. This is the first ministerial consultation to take place during Germany’s six-month EU Council Presidency that began on 1 July. It will be chaired by Federal Minister of Justice Christine Lambrecht (SPD).

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July 3rd, 2020: Prospect of compromise on EU corona aid

Rome (dpa) – Shortly after the start of Germany’s EU Council Presidency, EU Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni has voiced optimism that a compromise can soon be reached in the dispute over billions in corona crisis aid. «We have reason to be confident», he said in a video meeting on Thursday. In the struggle to agree on a recovery programme, German Chancellor Angela Merkel had said on the same day that she would travel to Brussels to attend the EU Summit on 17 July with a view to achieving an agreement. EU Commissioner Gentiloni stressed in the internet meeting that Merkel is «one of the best negotiators I have ever met during my political career».

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Everything you need to know about the german EU Council Presidency and the European Union:
https://www.deutschland.de/en/keeping-europe-together

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July 2nd, 2020: Merkel to discuss EU Presidency with von der Leyen

Berlin/Brussels (dpa) – A day after Germany took over the EU Council Presidency, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will be discussing the work programme. Taking part in Thursday afternoon’s video conference will also be the three Vice Presidents Margrethe Vestager, Valdis Dombrovskis and Frans Timmermans, High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell, Commission for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson and a number of German federal ministers.

Wednesday saw Germany assume the Presidency of the Council of the European Union until the end of the year. The number one priority is to overcome the corona pandemic and its severe economic consequences. To this end, the EU’s next seven-year multiannual financial framework and an economic stimulus programme worth billions are to be agreed, ideally before the end of July. Other important items on the agenda will be the planned trade deal with the United Kingdom and the issues of climate protection, digitisation and migration. A conference on the future of Europe is also to be set in motion.

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July 1st, 2020: Germany takes over EU Presidency and chair of UN Security Council

Berlin/Brussels (dpa) – Germany takes prominent roles in the international arena: from today until the end of the year, the Federal Republic of Germany will be assuming the Council Presidency in the European Union, while at the same time chairing the UN Security Council for one month. The battle against the corona crisis is the number one priority for both bodies. The expectations of the German government are high.

The first major challenge for Germany at the helm of the 27 EU member states is to agree before the end of July on the EU’s next seven-year multiannual financial framework and on an economic stimulus programme worth billions. Other important items on the agenda will be the planned post-Brexit trade deal with the United Kingdom, as well as climate protection, digitisation and migration.

Since the beginning of 2019, Germany has been a member of the UN Security Council for a two-year period, and will now for the second time be chairing the body for one month. Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has announced a new proposal for a corona pandemic resolution, which so far has failed due to a conflict between the USA and China. Furthermore, the Security Council will presumably need in the near future to address the planned annexation by Israel of Palestinian territories in the West Bank.

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June 30th, 2020: Merkel and Macron demonstrate unity

Meseberg (dpa) – Shortly before Germany takes over the EU Council Presidency, Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron have demonstrated unity in tackling the corona crisis. In the efforts to agree on an economic recovery programme, they both want to contribute to «providing a positive impetus in the right direction for Europe’s future», Merkel said on Monday during a meeting with Macron at Schloss Meseberg near Berlin. The French president urged that the programme already be agreed in July. «This is our uppermost priority.»

In May, Macron and Merkel had proposed a recovery fund of 500 billion euros to lead the European economy out of the corona crisis. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen then presented a debt-financed recovery plan worth 750 billion euros. 500 billion euros of the total are to be made available to EU member states as subsidies and the remaining 250 billion as loans. The plan is being negotiated together with the EU’s next seven-year multiannual financial framework, which the Commission estimates at 1.1 trillion euros. Merkel and Macron are drumming up support for this plan among the other EU member states.

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Everything you need to know about the german EU Council Presidency and the European Union:
https://www.deutschland.de/en/keeping-europe-together

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June 29th, 2020: Merkel and Macron discuss economic recovery after corona crisis

Berlin (dpa)Two days before Germany takes over the EU Council presidency, Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron are meeting in Meseberg. The economic recovery in Europe following the corona crisis will be a central focus of their talks at the German government’s guest house. This is the first time that Chancellor Merkel has received a foreign head of state since the outbreak of the corona pandemic. According to the Federal Government, other European policy issues will also be discussed, as will topics of international and bilateral interest