EM Germany Newsletter CW 46|2020: European values and fundamental rights
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, chair of the CDU, made it clear: „We are not only an internal market but foremost a union of values“, she said at EM Germany’s General Assembly on 30 October. It is essential to protect this cornerstone: It is precisely in these turbulent times, when even the US President in office is casting doubt on the legitimacy of elections, that we need to strengthen the foundations of democracy.
Just in time then, that on thursday the German Council Presidency was able to find a compromise with the European Parliament on linking the budget funds to the rule of law with the broadest possible scope. The downside, however, is that the member states themselves should continue to decide whether to cut EU funds.
Due to a COVID-19-related delay, the General Affairs Council configuration (GAC) will meet next week and discuss the rule of law’s situation in the EU. After the broad horizontal debate on the pan-European situation in October, the focus is now on five country chapters. As a preventive measure, these discussions are intended to address the first hairline cracks, but the rifts with some Member States are already too big for dialogue alone to help.
The consistent application of the rule of law in the Council is therefore all the more important. The EU cannot afford another instrument which, like the Article 7 EUV procedure, is bogged down in the blockade game on this central issue.
Have a nice week – and stay safe!
Dr. Linn Selle
President of European Movement Germany
#EBDFocus: European fundamental values and rights
After the European Commission published the Rule of law report on the situation in the Member States for the first time ever in September and the General Affairs Council configuration (GAC) has laid eyes on the pan-European situation in October, the ministers for Europe will concentrate on five country chapters in November. The videoconference planned for this week was postponed by a week. +++ EM Germany will hold a EBD De-Briefing with the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the dialogue on the rule of law in the Council – Appointment will be announced +++ It has been decided to link the rule of law principles to the disbursement of EU funds. In the Trilogue the EU institutions have decided on a new mechanism, which makes it possible to sanction the disregard of European fundamental values financially. Federal minister of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas described the result of the negotiations as a “breakthrough”. +++ At an online event this afternoon, the Jacques Delors Center offers a classification of the developments in the negotiations on the rule of law in the EU. +++ Central issues of the rule of law, like freedom of press and the right to a fair trial, are important components of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), the signing of which was celebrated for the 70th time on 4 November. This Twitter thread by the European Movement International portrays the part that the European Movement played for the formulation of the ECHR. +++ At the beginning of the new EM Germany politics 2020/21 it says to “respect European values and fundamental rights”, this also forms one of our priorities. The General Assembly passed the new political demands on 30 October. +++ At a digital conference on the future of Europe, the President of EM Germany recently emphasized that clear political guidelines are needed to protect the rule of law in the EU. +++ The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) invites you to the first edition of the “Fundamental Rights Dialogue” on November 13. For further information please click here. +++
#EBDGrafik of the week
EM Germany news
Internal and external cooperation was the main topic of EM Germany’s Board meeting: Just a week after they were newly elected, the Board met to get to know each other and to roll out the political motions adopted at the General Assembly. | More (in German)
Progress with EU2020 priorities | EBD De-Briefing ECOFIN and Euro group: Anti-money laundering and terrorism financing were on the agenda at the November meeting of the ECOFIN Council. Thomas Westphal, Head of the EU Directorate at the Ministry for Finance, shared insights about the progresses made at the EBD De-Briefing. | More (in German)
„Europe must speak with a common voice“: EM Germany President at „Vorwärts“-Digital Conference with Katarina Barley MEP, Vice-President of the European Parliament and Michael Roth, Minister of State for Europe at the Federal Foreign Office. | More (in German) +++ Germany needs a plan for Europe! EU-in-BRIEF by EM Germany president: Linn Selle’s Political Report to EM Germany’s General Assembly is now online. | More (in German)
College of Europe | Digital „Stammtisch“ brings German alumni across Europe together: Videoconferences are a new normal, so why not try a College of Europe Stammtisch in this format? The German alunni met for the first time virtually to discuss EU2020DE – from Brussels to Tirana. | Mehr
All EM Germany events take place via videoconference. Participation is free, but registration required. Conference language is German unless indicated otherwise. 10.11.2020: College of Europe Career Lunch +++ 16.11.2020: EP Rapporteur in Dialogue: Marion Walsmann +++ 16.11.2020: EBD De-Briefing Justice and Home Affairs +++ 18.11.2020: Priorities of the German presidency in the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (in English) +++ 19./20.11.2020: European Movement International Federal Assembly +++ 20.11.2020: EBD De-Briefing COMPET (Internal market and industry) +++ 23.11.2020: EBD De-Briefing European Council +++ 30.11.2020: EBD De-Briefing COMPET (Research and innovation) +++ Our Presidency Calendar on the German EU Council Presidency is online – in the traditional six-month format (scroll to page 2), but also for 2020. We’re continuously updating this new monthly format with events as they evolve – the A4 size allows for easy printing at your office (wherever it’s situated). The November edition of the calendar is available now.
Check out former editions of our weekly newsletter here.
Please sign up here if you’d like to receive the newsletter.