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EM Germany Newsletter CW 52/2020 | EU2020DE Review

The course for a renewed EU has been set, Angela Merkel summed up the German Council Presidency addressing the European Parliament. This was in 2007 at the end of the last presidency, but the picture still fits now. 

After the lack of solidarity in March and much uncertainty about the future budget framework, the EU is now back on track to emerge stronger from the Covid-19 pandemic. With the recovery instrument, the Multiannual Financial Framework is stronger than ever and, thanks to the European Parliament’s negotiating pressure, more future-oriented. Covid-19-related restrictions and vaccination strategies are well coordinated in the EU and, so far, have prevented renewed chaos, including border closures. And last but not least, with the rule of law dialogue and the new conditionality for the next budget framework, there are new instruments that expand the EU’s toolbox for the promotion of fundamental rights.  

However, as this week’s #EBDGrafik reveals, the Council Presidency could not meet all expectations. The start of the Conference on the Future of Europe is still pending due to disagreements on the future chair of the dialogue. Moreover, expectations in the politically highly sensitive field of migration policy could not be met.  

Against this background, the German government cannot and should not rest on its laurels in the new year. A pro-active German European policy is needed in order to put the results and the pending initiatives on track during the trio presidency with Portugal and Slovenia. The course has been set with the budget agreement, but ratification by the parliaments of the member states is still pending and an effective rule of law conditionality has to be practised. In addition and regardless of the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, there is a need to renew the future EU relationship with the UK together with the European Parliament.

Comitted to our role as critical watch-dog of German European policy, we will therefore continue to contribute to the public debate on EU issues in the year of the German parliamentary election and keep you up to date on Europe with our newsletter that after this Christmas break will be sent to you as of 11 January 2020 every two weeks. 

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Looking forward to our further contacts in 2021 – and stay safe! 

Yours

Dr. Linn Selle  
President of European Movement Germany

#EBDFocus: EU2020DE Review

On 31 December, the German Presidency of the Council of the EU (#EU2020DE) comes to an end. From start to finish, it stood under the motto „Together for Europe’s recovery“ in the focus of handling the Covid-19 pandemic. The negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and the recovery instrument – including the newly introduced rule of law conditionality – were successfully concluded under the German Presidency. In addition, progress was made in dealing with the pandemic on a more coordinated, European level and in the introduction of a binding transparency register. Substantial progress in the negotiations of the migration and asylum package, the breakthrough in the Brexit negotiations and the start of the Conference on the Future of Europe, however, are still pending. A new #EBDGrafik takes stock of which priorities the German government has implemented from the EU2020DE programme. +++ Especially the meeting of the European Council on 10 and 11 December was able to achieve decisive progress, including the budget agreement, which EM Germany president Selle called „an important European compromise„. +++ All news and commentaries on EU2020DE from the EM Germany network are compiled on EM Germany’s website. +++ In 2021, the federal parliamentary election in Germany will set the guidelines for German European policy for the next four years. In the Bundestag election campaign, all pro-European parties should compete to come up with the best ideas for Europe, said Selle last week at a panel discussion. +++ At EM Germany’s General Assembly in October she called on the 260 member organisations of the association to continue to closely accompany and shape German European politics even after the end of EU2020DE. +++ On 1 January 2021, the Portuguese EU Council Presidency will begin under the motto „Time to deliver: a fair, green and digital recovery„. A digital EBD briefing will provide information on the EU2021PT programme on 13 January. +++

#EBDGrafik of the week

With its Presidency Programme, the German government has set itself many goals for its Presidency. A new #EBDgrafik shows which of these have been realised and which have not yet been completed. | Download

EM Germany News

Mixed doubles to wrap up the EBD De-Briefings under #EU2020DE | discussion of AGRIFISH and ENVI results: What is there to decide on after the MFF agreement? A lot, as our double EBD De-Briefing showed. Both discussions took place in the same virtual meeting room, allowing the participants to float from one event into the other. More (in German) +++ Culmination of an eventful six months under EU2020DE Presidency | EBD De-Briefing European Council: Barely two weeks before the end of the German EU Presidency, the European Council met in Brussels on 10 and 11 December for its last meeting in 2020 as scheduled. The summit meeting resulted in conclusions that attracted a great deal of media attention. The Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy provided information on the results of the Council meeting at the EBD de-briefing on 14 December. | More (in German) +++ No agreement on the European migration and asylum package under EU2020DE | EBD De-Briefing Home Affairs: The Commission proposal for a European migration and asylum package as well as the Council conclusions on internal security and the European police partnership were the focus of the last meeting of the Home Affairs Council this year. At the EBD De-Briefing, the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community, informed the audience about the results of the Council meeting | More (in German) +++

EM Germany Secretary-General Bernd Hüttemann at CIME De-Briefing | Transalpine De-Briefing of European Movement Italy (Consiglio Italiano del Movimento Europeo, in short: CIME): At the end of the German Presidency of the Council of the EU, EM Germany’s sister organisation in cooperation with the Italian Economic and Labour Council (CNEL) took stock of the European Council of 11-12 December and the German Council Presidency as a whole. Hüttemann emphasised the progress made on the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework and the rule of law and gave a slightly positive report overall. | More (in German)

Making European politics visible in the Bundestag election campaign: Linn Selle at SPD debate camp | More (in German)

Upcoming Events

All EM Germany events take place via videoconference. Participation is free, but registration required. Conference language is German unless indicated otherwise. +++ 13.01.2021: EBD Briefing Portugese EU Council Presidency +++ 20.01.2021: German EP Groups in dialogue: Daniel Caspary MEP +++ Our Presidency Calendar on the German EU Council Presidency is online – in the traditional six-month format (scroll to page 2). The December edition of the calendar is available here.


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