BMZ special feature

Germany's 2020 Council Presidency

Flag of the Federal Republic of Germany, flag of the European Union and logo of the German Presidency of the EU Council
Federal Minister for Development Gerd Müller

"Europe has to show solidarity in a time of crisis – either we will overcome crises like COVID-19 or climate change by working together worldwide or we will not overcome them at all. For this we need a strong Europe in the world."

German Development Minister Gerd Müller

Germany assumes the 6-month rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union on 1 July 2020. Of course the German Presidency, too, will be influenced to a considerable degree by the COVID-19 pandemic. Europe needs to emerge from the crisis stronger and more confident than before; and it needs to fight the pandemic together with its international partners.

There are many other major challenges that also need to be addressed: the European budget for the next seven years must be adopted, Brexit negotiations with Great Britain need to be concluded, climate change, digital technology and economic development need to be addressed. One thing is clear, Europe can only be strong if it assumes responsibility together with its international partners.

COVID-19 pandemic

Dealing with the crisis

Europe can learn from the COVID-19 crisis and emerge from it stronger than before. Development cooperation can play an important part in this. Because global challenges can only be resolved in cooperation with our international partners. The networks of development cooperation, their partnership approach and established intergovernmental and international structures provide an excellent foundation for joint action.

COVID-19 is creating a new context also for the other important development policy topics of Germany's Presidency: the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, strengthening the EU-Africa partnership, making supply chains more sustainable both in ecological and in social terms and international climate action.


European Parliament in Strasbourg

Trio presidency – with Portugal and Slovenia

Taking over from Germany, first Portugal and then Slovenia will hold the EU Presidency in 2021. The three countries are forming a trio presidency. Germany is already cooperating closely in the areas mentioned above with its trio partners in order to foster policymaking continuity over the coming 18 months.

BMZ priorities

Assisting developing countries and emerging economies in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and social and environmental recovery are cross-cutting priorities of Germany's EU Presidency. The message is: Europe is extending a helping hand. For poor countries, too. We want:

  • to expand the EU's emergency measures in our partner countries so as to stabilise them in times of crisis (Team Europe);
  • to adopt a joint EU-Africa strategy at the EU-AU summit and thus create a new partnership for the areas of climate, trade, migration and digitalisation;
  • to conclude the negotiations on the content of a new agreement between the EU and the countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (post-Cotonou agreement);
  • to achieve better compliance with human rights, environmental and social standards by increasing corporate responsibility in global supply chains (for example EU Action Plan);
  • to increase public revenue, by introducing, for instance, rules for a global minimum level of taxation (OECD reform proposals) and a European-wide financial transaction tax;
  • to expand the EU's activities on global health, food security and water supply in line with the One Health approach and strengthen for instance the WHO;
  • to set up a common and strong instrument for the EU's external action;
  • to push forward the implementation of the 2030 Agenda together with our partner countries and adopt among other things an ambitious EU Gender Action Plan.

As we address these issues, we will stay in close contact with Germany's civil society.

Nurse in Madagascar

Schedule of events during the German EU Presidency

Every six months a different member state holds the EU Council Presidency. The Council represents the member countries at EU level and adopts EU legislation, in most cases together with the European Parliament.

A broad range of events will take place during Germany's EU Presidency. For more information go to:

Illumination of the Brandenburg Gate to mark the start of the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union


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