Minister Altmaier presents his priorities for the German Council Presidency.

Minister Altmaier presents his priorities for the German Council Presidency.

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Marking the beginning of the German Presidency of the Council of the EU at 12 noon today, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier will present his priorities for the Presidency this second semester of 2020. The Presidency Programme of the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy is entitled “Emerging stronger from the crisis together – for a competitive, innovative and resilient European economy”, and sets out ambitious objectives with a focus on competitiveness, cohesion, trade, digitisation, and energy.

In the run-up to the Council Presidency, Federal Minister Altmaier said: “The economic engine must be restarted all across Europe. This will be the central task for the European Council Presidency and, more specifically, for European economic policy. The European industrial sector, SMEs, and the many courageous European entrepreneurs must be able to recover soon from the crisis. To make that happen, we must make the EU more competitive, adopt an Industrial Strategy, modernise competition law, cut red tape, maintain a strong forward-looking focus and make considerable progress on digitisation and investments in forward-looking technologies, particularly climate technologies. A key example here are hydrogen technologies, on which I would like to forge European cooperation. And of course everything must be overarched by the principle of open markets governed by fair rules that apply to everyone. Guided by the spirit of European solidarity, I will put all my energies into ensuring that the EU will emerge stronger from this crisis.”

Today, Germany takes over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the thirteenth time as scheduled (last time: 2007). The key objective for the German Council Presidency will be overcoming the coronavirus crisis and its repercussions. The work programme of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy puts some more flesh on the German Presidency Programme, which is entitled “Together for Europe’s recovery”.

The main task of the Presidency consists in chairing the meetings of the Council and its preparatory committees and working parties, and doing so as a neutral arbiter seeking to advance the best interests of the EU as a whole. Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy will be chairing the Competitiveness Council, the Trade Ministers Council, the Energy Council, the Council for Telecommunications/Digital Affairs, and the Cohesion Council.

The text of the Presidency Programme of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, “Emerging stronger from the crisis together – for a competitive, innovative and resilient European economy” is available here.

The programme for the German Council Presidency and an overview of the most important events can be accessed on the official website of the German Council Presidency: www.eu2020.de