Emerging from the crisis stronger
German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks about Germany’s goals during its EU Council Presidency
Berlin (dpa) – German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) wants to use Germany’s EU Council Presidency to guide a strengthened Europe out of the Coronavirus crisis. “On the one hand, we must overcome the consequences of the crisis and, on the other, also make Europe more resilient and fit for the future”, she stated in a declaration by the government to the Bundestag on Thursday. On 1 July, Germany assumes the EU Council Presidency for half a year. “We are assuming this responsibility at a time when the European Union is facing the greatest challenge in its history,” Merkel said.
“The pandemic shows us that Europe as we know it is vulnerable.” For this reason, cohesion and solidarity in Europe have never been as important as they are today, Chancellor Merkel emphasized. “Today, our common goal must be to master the crisis as a community, sustainably, and with a view to the future. And exactly that will be the leitmotif of our EU Council Presidency.” Merkel conceded that Europe had acted “irrationally” at the beginning of the crisis. “The initial reflexes – and that includes our own – were essentially national and not European throughout.”
Merkel announced that the German Federal Government would be putting the emphasis of its foreign policy during its EU Council Presidency on Africa. “It is already becoming clear that the African nations are going to suffer very heavily under the economic and social consequences of the Coronavirus pandemic.”