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German EU Presidency – Press Advisory

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On July 1st, Germany assumes the EU presidency (or more formally the presidency of the Council of the European Union) for the second half of 2020. With it, it assumes the responsibility for leading a continent-wide recovery project in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and the response to a worsening climate crisis.  

Today, the German government adopts its programme for the six-month presidency. But what should it prioritise to build the foundations of a more stable, future-proof EU? E3G’s new briefing sets out three priorities for the German EU presidency to enable an EU-wide sustainable and resilient recovery: 

  1. Deliver the European Green Deal as a central part of a future-proof economic recovery. This requires that the German EU presidency reaches agreement between Member States on the Climate Law, the updated EU budget and the new recovery instrument “Next Generation EU”. 
  2. Increase the EU’s 2030 climate target and submit an enhanced 2030 climate pledge (Nationally Determined Contribution, NDC) to the UN’s climate change regime. This is an opportunity for the EU to reassure investors, businesses, and international partners that it is serious about the green recovery. 
  3. Create the foundations for a global sustainable and resilient recovery. The German presidency will need to help shape a more assertive approach to European foreign policy, while also identifying areas where the EU can build cooperation with key partners like African states or China. 


Rebekka Popp, Researcher at E3G said: 

“The German EU presidency has a lot on its plate: leading the EU’s recovery from COVID-19 and the response to the climate crisis. Germany’s best bet will be focusing on a green and resilient recovery from COVID-19. This means placing the European Green Deal at the heart of the economic recovery.” 

Jennifer Tollmann, Policy Advisor at E3G said: 

“Ursula von der Leyen promised a more geopolitical Commission but it’s the German EU presidency and Chancellor Merkel who will have to lead delivery of it. In turbulent times, the success of a European Union committed to a climate neutral pathway depends on building a more sustainable and resilient global landscape. Managing an increasingly complex relationship with China, and offering a credible, greener recovery alternative to partner countries in Africa and the Western Balkans will be key. “ 


Notes to Editors 

  1. E3G is an independent climate change think tank accelerating the transition to a climate safe world. E3G specialises in climate diplomacy, climate risk, energy policy and climate finance. 
  2. In 2018, for the third year running, E3G was ranked the fifth most globally influential environmental think tank by the Global Go To Think Tank Index. 
  3. A summary of the briefing can be read here.  
  4. The full briefing can be read here.  
  5. E3G’s June op-ed “Sink or swim: how the German EU Presidency can navigate the waves of multiple crises” can be read here. 

This project has received funding from the LIFE Programme of the European Union.


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