Aktuelles > EM Germany Newsletter CW 04/2023 | Focus on the Council of Europe (CoE)

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EM Germany Newsletter CW 04/2023 | Focus on the Council of Europe (CoE)

The Council of the EU, the European Council, more recently the European Political Community and the Council of Europe – it is certainly not easy to distinguish between all these institutions. Especially the latter, the Council of Europe, is hardly present in the public. And this despite the fact that it lays down the law for Europeans.

However, the Council of Europe is all the more important in times of the Russian war of aggression, which tramples democracy, peace and human rights underfoot. The founding of the institution in 1949 was the promise of a European order of peace and democracy. Moreover, with Ukraine, the Caucasus and the Western Balkans, the Council of Europe gathers the wide circle of European states and, after Russia’s departure, provides a forum that needs to be strengthened in its democratic DNA.  

As our #EBDGrafik shows, Iceland currently chairs the Committee of Ministers and is planning what will be only the fourth Council of Europe Summit at Head of State and Government level in May. Similarly, a High-Level Reflection Group has presented reform proposals for the Council of Europe. Against this background, we at EM Germany will provide even more information about the Council of Europe, contribute with proposals and regularly remind the German Government that it should give this institution more visibility. We are therefore pleased that the Federal Foreign Minister has addressed the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe yesterday. 

The Council of Europe is a pivotal institution in the „Zeitenwende“, one that has gone under the radar for far too long. Germany, which rejoined the international community of liberal democracies in 1951 by becoming a member of the Council of Europe, has a special responsibility to shape the institution. 


Dr. Linn Selle

President of the European Movement Germany

#EBDGrafik of the week

The summit of heads of state and government in May 2023 puts the Council of Europe back in the public eye. The latest #EBDGraphik provides an overview of its role and structure. It also looks at what EM Germany expects from the Council of Europe’s work. | Download

EM Germany News

60 years of the Elysee Treaty – praise and criticism of Franco-German relations | On January 22nd 1963, the Franco-German Treaty of Friendship was signed. Last Sunday, the success story was duly celebrated in the presence of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron. On the other hand, however, the anniversary also gave rise to constructive criticism of the current status of Franco-German cooperation. The newly elected President of the European Movement France, Hervé Moritz , and EM Germany President Dr. Linn Selle also demanded that the treaty should go beyond symbolic politics and serve as a basis for providing joint answers to the current challenges. Franco-German cooperation is the anchor of the EU and more important than ever, they said. | More (in German)

Europe.Table talk on EU policy coordination within the German government | In the coalition agreement, the so called traffic light coalition promised a priorisation of EU policy and a more stringent coordination. After just over a year, it is time to take stock. In order to draw this together, Europe Table organized a background discussion with stakeholders from politics, business and civil society on January 19. Based on the EM Germany analysis and the #EBDGrafik on the topic, Secretary General Bernd Hüttemann presented an assessment from the perspective of the EM Germany in his speech and put the promises of the coalition agreement to the test. | More (in German)

Focus on the coming six months – EBD Briefing on the Swedish Presidency | At the EBD Briefing on January 17th 2023, H.E. Per Thöresson, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Sweden in Berlin, presented the priorities of the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU to more than 100 participants. After a welcome address by Dr. Jörg Wojahn, representative of the European Commission in Germany, Sibylle Katharina Sorg, Head of the European Department at the Federal Foreign Office (AA), and Dr. Kirsten Scholl, Head of the European Policy Department at the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK), assessed the program from the perspective of the German government. Finally, on the podium, President Dr. Linn Selle commented on the Swedish priorities from the perspective of EM Germany. While the agenda was welcomed by all discussants, there were several voices that saw a need for action on two issues in particular. | More (in German) 

Exchange on Serbia’s European perspective – Background discussion with the Minister of European Integration of the Republic of Serbia Tanja Miščević | Relations between the EU and Serbia have cooled down significantly since February 24, 2022. This is mainly due to Belgrade’s refusal to join EU sanctions against Russia. Despite this fact, and precisely because of the clear differences between the two parties, it seems all the more important to maintain a constructive dialogue. Therefore, on January 17, under the moderation of Secretary General Bernd Hüttemann, representatives of the EM Germany member organizations as well as other stakeholders met with the Minister for European Integration of the Republic of Serbia, Tanja Miščević, at the European House in Berlin. | More (in German)

Dynamics of EU accession processes in the „inner courtyard of Europe“ – EBD Public Diplomacy Exklusiv – Western Balkans | The dynamic relations between the EU and the states of the Western Balkans were the topic of the latest EBD Public Diplomacy Exklusiv, where representatives of our member organizations active in the Western Balkans and the local German embassies engaged in a lively exchange and talked about current accession processes in the Western Balkans. The event was kicked off with input from the German Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, H.E. Dr. Thomas Fitschen, the Head of the German Embassy in Prishtina, H.E. Jörn Rohde, as well as the Special Envoy of the German Government for the Western Balkan Countries at the Federal Foreign Office and EM Germany’s Vice President, Manuel Sarrazin. | More (in German)

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