EM Germany Newsletter CW 17/2021 | European cooperation beyond the EU
Europe thrives on its diverse cooperations – the EU is just one of them. It is often forgotten that the Council of Europe was the first European organization to accept the young Federal Republic as an associate member in 1950. Five years after the end of World War II, the country was once again part of the European community of states.
Only one year later, on 2 May 1951, Germany was already a full member of the institution in Strasbourg. For us, this is an occasion to celebrate this return to Europe 70 years ago in close cooperation with the Federal Foreign Office with a digital ceremony on 4 May 2021.
The courageous and forward-looking deeds of our neighbors in admitting Germany to the Council of Europe and then venturing into a closer, supranational cooperation which later would lead to the EU should be an incentive for the German government to never let the promise of EU membership and deeper European cooperation – such as the Schengen membership – become exclusive. It is all the more important to give the Western Balkan states a credible perspective and to start formal accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania, as decided by the European Council in March 2020.
Similarly, EM Germany thrives on multifaceted cooperation. Since autumn 2010, I was privileged to help shape them in the General Secretariat of the organisation. With this newsletter I would like to thank everyone in our network for the close collaboration. As of April 30, I will be leaving EM Germany. For the time being, Europe is moving from my professional to my personal passion; I hope that many contacts will remain.
I wish you a wonderful week – and stay healthy!
European Movement Germany
#EBDFokus: European cooperation beyond the EU
European cooperation goes beyond the EU. One example is the Council of Europe, whose Committee of Ministers is chaired by Germany until 21 May 2021. In this context, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave a speech to the Council of Europe last Tuesday, highlighting the synergies between the EU and the Council of Europe. To mark the 70th anniversary of Germany’s full membership in the Council of Europe, EM Germany is organising a digital commemorative event together with the Federal Foreign Office on 4 May. +++ The Council of Europe is just one example of European and international cooperation beyond the borders of the EU. What other transnational alliances exist and which countries belong to them is shown in the new #EBDGrafik of the week. +++ How Europe will work together in the future is among the topics to be discussed at the Conference on the Future of Europe, whose online platform was launched a week ago. The fact that the debate on the future of the EU should not be conducted without a pan-European perspective was emphasized by EM Germany Secretary General Bernd Hüttemann last week at an online discussion of the European Movement Serbia. This includes offering accession prospects to the Western Balkan states. Nine member states, including Germany, spoke out in mid-March in a letter to the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell in favour of reanalysing accession prospects in light of the new developments since the last talks in summer 2019. Due to Bulgaria’s veto, accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania could not be started. +++ In a sign of the cooperation that already exists, news broke last week that the EU is supporting the Western Balkans with COVID-19 vaccine doses. +++
#EBDGrafik of the week
EM Germany News
Expectations of the CoFoE | EM Germany and EM Austria in discussion with EESC President Christa Schweng: To discuss their visions and expectations of the upcoming CoFoE Board members of EM Germany and EM Austria met digitally on 22 April with the President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) Christa Schweng. | More (in German)
Include EU accession candidates in CoFoE | EM Germany Secretary-General at EM Serbia conference: „It’s about Europe, not just the EU. The future of the EU cannot be discussed without including a pan-European perspective,“ emphasized Bernd Hüttemann at a hybrid event on the Conference on the Future of Europe hosted by the European Movement Serbia and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES). | More (in German)
Encouraging a Bolder, Reform-Oriented Dialogue | EM Germany Positioning on the Conference on the Future of Europe: The CoFoE is a great opportunity to strengthen European cooperation and to make the European Union fit for the future. For this to succeed, four preconditions must be met, as compiled by EM Germany in their position paper. | More (in German), find the English position paper here.
National elections are always also European elections | EM Germany President at Online Talk of the Schwarzkopf Foundation: How is Europe currently represented in the election programmes of the political parties for the 2021 Bundestag elections and what is the significance of European policy in the election campaign? EM Germany President Dr Linn Selle spoke about these and other questions at the Schwarzkopf Foundation’s interactive online talk on „Europe, Germany and the Election“ on 14 April 2021. | More in (German)
All EM Germany events take place via videoconference. Participation is free, but registration required. Conference language is German unless indicated otherwise. +++ 26.-30.04.2021: digital meeting of the Federal Jury of the European Pupils‘ Competition +++ 29.04.2021: stakeholder dialogue on the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights in Germany +++ 04.05.2021: Conference – 70 Years of Germany as Full Member of the Council of Europe – also in English. +++ 06.05.2021: Online Briefing – Forecast on the Conference on the Future of Europe +++ 19.05.2021: EBD De-Briefing ECOFIN and Euro Group +++ Our Presidency Calendar on the Portuguese EU Council Presidency has all dates of the semester.
Check out former editions of our newsletter here.
Please sign up here if you’d like to receive the newsletter (in German).