Germany Takes the Lead in the EU Amid Tough Pandemic Times

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Germany took over the presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) from Croatia for the next six months in a "difficult time" determined by COVID-19, said German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a speech to the Bundestag (parliament) in Berlin on Wednesday, reported Xinhua.

"Of course, our presidency will be marked by the coronavirus pandemic, the efforts to contain it and to deal with its consequences," said Merkel, stressing that the European Council had agreed that "special solutions are needed."

The COVID-19 pandemic "affects us all," said Merkel when presenting the program for Germany's EU presidency in June.

Merkel warned that the positions of the member states of the EU were still "widely divergent." Besides the COVID-19 crisis, the EU Council is looking at a number of serious challenges including Brexit, immigration as well as climate protection.

In her speech, Merkel stressed that there were other issues besides the coronavirus crisis. "Over the next six months, we not only want to press ahead with crisis management, but also work intensively on how we can shape the key issues of climate protection, digital sovereignty and Europe's role in the world in the future."

Already in May, the European Commission has proposed a 750-billion-euro (844 billion U.S. dollars) aid package for Europe's economic recovery after the coronavirus crisis. In this "decisive moment," investments must be made "in a way that will benefit the next generation tomorrow," said President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.

Merkel said that economic aid had to secure young people's opportunities and promised to campaign for every young person to have the opportunity to find work. "It is particularly important to me that the economic recovery benefits everyone and that we not only secure employment and business, but also and especially strengthen social cohesion in Europe."

The Federation of German Industries (BDI) warned on Wednesday that demands by many member states were so high that Germany could "hardly do them justice." The next six months could become a "negotiation and voting nightmare in the face of unrealistic expectations," said BDI President Dieter Kempf.

With regard to the future relationships between the EU and the United Kingdom (UK), Merkel noted that progress in the negotiations was "very limited, to put it mildly."

A recent survey conducted jointly by BDI and Deloitte showed that almost one in three German companies expected the UK to leave the EU without a negotiated deal.

"We have agreed with Great Britain to speed up the negotiations now in order to reach an agreement in autumn," Merkel said. She stressed to "continue to fight for a good solution" but advised to take precautions in the EU and also in Germany in case an agreement was not reached.

With the Brexit deadline getting closer and the international cry for financial aid getting louder as Europe's economies struggle with the effects of COVID-19, Merkel emphasized that "only with the support of the national parliaments of all member states will we be able to meet this major challenges."

Source: www.dailyfinland.fi

14 Comments
  1. SimonSmith says

    I believe Chancellor Merkel is taking on a major challenge in leading the EU during these difficult pandemic times. The COVID-19 crisis has affected us all and it’s crucial that special solutions are found to deal with its consequences. Merkel’s emphasis on climate protection, digital sovereignty, and Europe’s role in the world shows a strong commitment to addressing key issues beyond just the coronavirus crisis. I am looking forward to seeing how Germany guides the EU through these challenging times.

  2. EmilyJohnson says

    Germany taking the lead in the EU during these tough pandemic times is crucial for the future of the continent. Angela Merkel’s emphasis on crisis management and the need for special solutions shows strong leadership in the face of diverse challenges. It’s inspiring to see a focus not only on COVID-19 but also on critical issues like climate protection and digital sovereignty for Europe’s position in the global arena.

  3. AlexandraSmith says

    Does Germany plan to prioritize climate protection and digital sovereignty during its EU presidency?

    1. PeterJones says

      Germany will indeed prioritize climate protection and digital sovereignty during its EU presidency. Chancellor Merkel emphasized in her speech that these key issues are important for the future of Europe. The focus will not only be on crisis management related to COVID-19 but also on shaping how Europe can lead in these areas in the global context.

  4. EmilySmith says

    “Germany is taking a proactive approach amid the challenging times brought on by the pandemic. Angela Merkel’s leadership in addressing the COVID-19 crisis and other pressing issues within the EU is commendable. It’s crucial for member states to come together and work towards solutions that benefit everyone.”

  5. EmilySmith23 says

    Will Germany’s EU presidency be successful in addressing the challenges posed by the pandemic and other crucial issues such as climate protection and digital sovereignty?

    1. JohnDoe89 says

      EmilySmith23, Germany’s EU presidency under Chancellor Merkel’s leadership is expected to navigate through the challenges posed by the pandemic and other critical issues with determination and strategic planning. Merkel’s focus on crisis management, climate protection, and digital sovereignty reflects the commitment to addressing the pressing concerns of the EU. It will be crucial to monitor the progress over the next six months to see how effective Germany’s leadership will be in these turbulent times.

  6. Emily92 says

    Does Germany have specific plans outlined to address the challenges posed by Brexit during their EU presidency?

    1. Max_1985 says

      Germany is indeed facing multiple challenges during its EU presidency, including Brexit. Chancellor Merkel highlighted that the EU Council is addressing a range of serious issues along with the COVID-19 crisis, such as immigration and climate protection. She emphasized the importance of working intensively not only on crisis management but also on shaping key issues like climate protection and Europe’s role in the world. So, to answer your question, yes, specific plans are being outlined to address the challenges posed by Brexit during Germany’s EU presidency.

  7. Julia_Smith says

    Germany is facing a challenging task leading the EU during these tough pandemic times. Merkel rightly points out that the coronavirus crisis requires special solutions, but we must also focus on other critical issues like climate protection and digital sovereignty. It’s a crucial time for Europe to come together and tackle these challenges.

  8. EmilySmith says

    Does Germany have specific plans to address the challenges posed by Brexit during their EU presidency?

    1. AlexSchneider says

      Yes, EmilySmith. Germany, under the EU presidency, is actively addressing the challenges posed by Brexit. Angela Merkel highlighted that alongside the COVID-19 crisis, the EU Council is focused on several serious challenges, including Brexit. They are committed to finding solutions and navigating through these complex issues during their term. It’s a challenging time, but Germany is determined to lead the way in facing these obstacles head-on.

  9. Emma_1987 says

    Germany is facing a critical moment during its EU presidency with the ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Angela Merkel’s emphasis on the need for special solutions highlights the urgency for collective action. It’s clear that unity is crucial in addressing not only the pandemic but also other pressing issues such as Brexit and climate protection.

  10. EmmaJohnson says

    Germany taking the lead in the EU amidst tough pandemic times is a commendable move. Angela Merkel’s acknowledgment of the challenges posed by COVID-19 and her emphasis on the need for special solutions demonstrate strong leadership. It is crucial for the EU to address not only the pandemic but also other pressing issues like Brexit, immigration, and climate protection during Germany’s presidency.

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