Event Report: Liberal Breakfast on the German EU Council Presidency

A joint event series by Friedrich Naumann Foundation Europe & ALDE Party

Check out the live stream here!

The Covid-19 crisis has put an enormous strain on Europe’s capacity of action. The deficits in its crisis management confirmed the need for increased cooperation to make the European Union more resilient, democratic and innovative. In the midst of this situation, Germany is taking over the EU Council presidency. With its reputation as political heavyweight, it will now have to prove that it has what it takes to come out on top of the crisis.

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From Poland With Love – June

Topic of the Month


The incumbent Andrzej Duda won the first round of the presidential election but must still go into a runoff vote. On July 12th, he will face Rafał Trzaskowski, mayor of Warsaw. The election was the first presidential vote to be held in the European Union since the pandemic hit.

It was the longest and the most peculiar campaign in Polish short democratic history, after 1990. Not only the elections were postponed from May 10th to June 28th due to the pandemic, but also new candidates appeared. The most important of the newcomers was of course Rafał Trzaskowski who replaced Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska as the Civic Coalition candidate after her unsuccessful campaign marked with appeals for boycott of the elections (read more in the previous issue).

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The German EU Council Presidency – In Search of the European Bang!

On 1 July, Germany takes over the EU Council Presidency and faces a major agenda. [Part 4]

Today, Germany takes over the Presidency of the EU Council; a routine process in the wheelwork of Brussels: preparing and chairing meetings of the member states from speaker to governmental level, mediating differences, avoiding red lines, finding compromises, keeping a balance between the role of “honest broker” and personal  interests.

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Brexit: Crunch Time for the German Presidency

On 1 July, Germany takes over the EU Council Presidency and faces a major agenda. [Part 4]

The 1 July deadline for the UK to apply for an extension of the Brexit transition period coincides with the start of Germany’s six-month rotating EU Presidency. Germany takes the helm at a time of unprecedented political and economic challenges, ranging from the COVID-19 response to the already tense negotiations on the EU’s next multiannual financial framework (MFF). However, with just six months of negotiations time left, Brexit is also set to be high on the Presidency’s agenda.

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The German Council Presidency – Migration Policy Expectations

On 1 July, Germany takes over the EU Council Presidency and faces a major agenda. [Part 3]

Hardly any other topic has been as intensely debated in recent years as the future of the EU’s asylum and migration policy. The refugee crisis of 2014 and 2015 has clearly demonstrated the need for pan-European solutions for all parties involved. Yet despite this acknowledgement, the Member States have still not been able to agree on a fair and effective distribution key and clear responsibilities within the reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). During its Presidency, Germany should therefore devote a great deal of political capital to disentangling the positions that have been deadlocked for years.

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Connecting Europe – For a Common Infrastructure Strategy

On 1 July, Germany takes over the EU Council Presidency and faces a major agenda. [Part 2]

The EU needs a European infrastructure strategy. Traditional and modern infrastructures, whether real or digital, are the paths along which growth, jobs and prosperity for Europe’s citizens advance and are created. But not only that: infrastructures provide states and regions with security and structure, and citizens with educational opportunities and health protection. In the geostrategic conflicts of the 21st century, infrastructures are also targets of political disputes through direct attacks or economic takeovers.

The European Union must respond to these multiple challenges in a tailored manner. This includes – a central lesson of the Corona crisis – a modern health and disaster protection system that works together across borders. The establishment of joint stockpiles of critical medical devices and medicines is just as necessary as regular and effective training to avert dangerous situations. The Member States have a wealth of unique and high-quality experience and equipment in the field of health and civil protection. They must be carefully linked for the efficient and effective protection of the whole of Europe.

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