Friday, August 14, 2020

Germany’s Council presidency: A herculean task

By Detlef Prinz

Anyone in 2020 with a pair of eyes or ears cannot help but recognize the enormity of the tasks and challenges confronting Germany’s current presidency of the EU Council. At stake is nothing less than the internal reconciliation of Europe and the fortification of our continent in the eyes of the world, so that it can again play an important role in international affairs and speak with a united voice that can be heard across the globe. This is where we stand at the moment.

The fact that expectations of Germany’s Council presidency also include the finalization of the EU’s financial framework, ambitious progress on EU climate policy and the sustainable reinforcement of our continent’s digital sovereignty – not to mention addressing the never-ending conflict in the Middle East and the ongoing crisis with Iran – shows how critical German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s political experience will be in the coming months, just as her much vaunted ability to distinguish between what’s important and what’s urgent will be indispensable in holding the European Union together by means of an appeal to both our larger and smaller member states. This is a herculean task.

Nevertheless, I am personally convinced that if there is anyone in Europe up to the job of tying up the EU’s many loose ends into one cohesive whole and giving our continent the boost it so urgently needs, that person is Angela Merkel. We should all wish her the best of luck, as Germans – and as Europeans.

Detlef Prinz
is publisher of The German Times.