Notes de l'Ifri Notes du Cerfa

Captain in the Storm: Challenges and Opportunities for the German EU Council Presidency Notes du Cerfa, No. 152, Ifri, July 2020

The German Presidency of the Council of the European Union begins on July 1, 2020 at a time of acute crisis. It is facing unprecedented challenges and organizational constraints in a context marked by high expectations from its European partners.

The purpose of this paper is to present the aims that Berlin has set itself and the room for maneuver at its disposal. After outlining the revised priorities of the German Presidency, it focuses on the debate on strategic independence and, in this context, on the relationship with China. Finally, it analyzes the conditions for German leadership at a moment when the Federal Government is facing conflicting expectations from its partners: it concentrates more specifically on Franco-German cooperation.


Claire Demesmay is head of the “France/French-German Relations” program at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) in Berlin. 


This publication is available in French: “Capitaine dans la tempête : défis et enjeux de la présidence allemande du Conseil de l’Union européenne”. (pdf)


European integration European Politics European Union (EU) French-German cooperation German european policy German Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2020 Green Deal Europe France Germany