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It's during times of crisis we prove our character - for the EU, the time is now

Deike Potzel


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Solidarity: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Leo Varadkar, then Taoiseach, at Farmleigh, Dublin, last year. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Solidarity: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Leo Varadkar, then Taoiseach, at Farmleigh, Dublin, last year. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Solidarity: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Leo Varadkar, then Taoiseach, at Farmleigh, Dublin, last year. Photo: Gerry Mooney

The European Union faces testing times and momentous challenges. Taking over the presidency of the Council of the European Union from July 1 therefore marked the beginning of a demanding task for Germany. Despite the enormity of these challenges, we remain ambitious and aim to work closely with our EU partners in a spirit of unity and solidarity.

Germany wants to be both a driving force and a facilitator for building bridges and finding solutions that ultimately benefit everyone in Europe, as German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has stressed. For the EU to succeed we need to pull together: "Together for Europe's recovery", as our presidency motto puts it.

First and foremost we must combine our efforts to overcome the effects of Covid-19 on our countries, societies and businesses, and continue to co-ordinate our immediate crisis response in order to contain the virus within the EU. We need to continue working together on the implementation of a co-ordinated EU exit strategy too, lifting the remaining restrictions and fostering the European single market.