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The German Presidency of the Council of the EU takes place against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the EU, along with the rest of the world, needs quick and bold action to adapt to the resulting tectonic changes. These circumstances have pushed Germany to lead the Union across the Rubicon in regard to the future of the European project.
In fact, Germany’s ambitious presidency program reflects its renewed strategic outlook by instigating the EU’s recovery and ushering a path towards further integration. For this reason, the decisions made during Germany’s term have the potential to become a critical juncture for Union’s further evolution.
With the aim of uncovering what may lie ahead for Europe in the following period, this Insight examines Germany’s long-term vision for Europe, analysing its Presidency program and scrutinising Germany’s positions on the pressing questions of the EU recovery fund and Multi-annual Financial Framework, climate and the environment, rule of law conditionality, and EU common foreign and security policy. At the same time, it analyses the place of the Western Balkans in such a complex network of priorities.