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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German Council Presidency – Holding the EU Together at the Centre of Europe!

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

On 1 July 2020, the Federal Republic of Germany will take over the Presidency of the European Union (EU). This means that it will conduct the business of the Member States for six months, insofar as they meet in the various Councils of Ministers and in the European Council and participate in EU decisions. The Council Presidency is also linked to the obligation to ensure that compromises are reached between the Member States of the Union and with the other EU institutions in the political and legislative process. The Council Presidency also has the role of representing the Round Table of States vis-à-vis the European Commission, the European Parliament, international organisations and third countries.

Today, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom launches a series of articles which will examine various aspects of the German Council Presidency in the current European context until 1 July, but also take a stand with proposals for the longer-term development of the EU. Read today to start the series:

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Life After Lockdown: What Will the World Look Like After the Coronavirus Pandemic?

 

From day to day, the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way people live around the globe. Even when lockdown restrictions are lifted, many say that the world will never be the same. What might the world after the pandemic look like? How will the novel coronavirus change our daily lives, our countries and our cities?

The Institute for Politics and Society (CZE) together with Prague office of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom organized a competition “World through my eyes” to encourage young high school and university students from the Czech Republic to think about how the world might change after the global pandemic. The students were asked to introduce their thoughts, ideas and visions in a short policy brief. The winning policy briefs will be presented to the members of the Czech Chamber of Deputies and the winner will also get the opportunity to organize a public event on the topic.

We are bringing you an interview with the three winners of the competition: Marie Ptáčková, 21-year-old student of biochemistry, who was best placed in the competition, Štěpán Hartl, 18-year-old student of secondary school of pedagogy, who placed second, and Magdaléna Kráľová, 24-year-old law student, who finished in third place. What are their perspectives of the world after the pandemic and how has Covid-19 changed their perception of life? Continue reading