Press Release: Priorities and calendar for the German Council Presidency

On 19 June 2020 Knowledge for Innovation organized a webinar with Michael Vorländer, Head of Unit, Education and Research, Permanent Representation of the Federal Republic of Germany to the European Union who outlined the main points for the next German Council Presidency which will start on July 1st replacing the Croatian Presidency under the motto:

“Together for Europe’s recovery”, EN

”Tous ensemble pour relance Europe”, FR

“Gemeinsam Europa wieder stark Machen”. DE

The German Council Presidency during the videoconference confirmed the willingness to continue working on crisis management to achieve a successful exit of the EU from the corona crisis based on common coordinated steps by addressing both economic and social aspects. The German Presidency commits on doing its utmost to work on principles of solidarity to protect the unity of the EU.

 Recently, the German government announced its strong willingness to contribute to unprecedented financial means which would help Europe to return on track of economic stability to become stronger,  more resilient, and sustainable. Future investments in green recovery, AI, and digitalization are one of the central priorities for the German government. This clearly demonstrates the German government’s position the need for future investment tools to successfully manage the Recovery of the European economy. The questions on Horizon Europe and EIT were also stressed by Michael Vorländer and the German Presidency will work intensively in the Council context to come up with a Council position on the remaining open issues ideally by end of September so that they would be ready to engage in final trialogues with a Parliament right after the formal meeting with a Research Ministers end of September. It’s worth to strength that European Research Area is indeed a top priority for German Presidency and trio partners Portugal and Slovenia. The intention is to focus on ERA which is more action-oriented, more tangible, more concrete, and more visible. The more concrete steps will be outlined in the next Commission’s Communication at the end of July 2020. The more oriented ERA the German Presidency wants to achieve through applying two proposals on European White Initiative and Clean Hydrogen. Additionally, in July the new narrative for ERA in the Council context would be discussed more concretely in the research working party and with the aim to adopt Council conclusions at the end of November at the second formal Council meeting of research ministers which will take place on the 27 November 2020.

Concerning the following physical meetings, the German Presidency decided to postpone offline activities till the end of the month of August.

The German Council Presidency stressed its objectives to work on the principle of solidarity to strengthen more innovative and sustainable Europe. 

On another note, Mr. Vorländer stressed the importance of having technological sovereignty (in different fields, AI, or green hydrogen).