A real crossroads

What is expected of the German presidency, which starts on July 1? An Economic Recovery Program, a Multiannual Budget and a Migration Pact.

On the 1st of July, the Federal Republic of Germany will assume the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union and this will be remarkable. In the next six months, much will be decided on the future of the Europe of 27, and whatever is negotiated between that number of Member States will be the project of our continent.

After Brexit, confidence in the European institutions was lost, which makes us today look at them and see a boat adrift, without a commander and with a conflicting crew, sailing without a common project, without emergency procedures, with too many failures of regulation, and everyone fearing shipwreck.

The quintet of leaders made up of Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank, Charles Michel, President of the European Council, David-Maria Sassoli, President of the European Parliament, and Josep Borrell, High Representative of European Union for Foreign Policy, they have still brought nothing reassuring and confident and, if the truth be told, if we asked a European citizen what he remembers of the work of these people, the answers we would hear would certainly be hilarious.

Ursula von der Leyen did not wake up to post-Brexit, nor did she agree to the pact to deal with mass immigration, she seems to have frozen the political climate defense negotiated in the Paris Agreements for the goal of zero emissions in 2050, and nothing is known on the European unemployment support system for countries in crisis.

In the face of such evidence, Chancellor Angela Merkel is therefore waiting to find out whether we are going to emerge from the more Europeanist crisis or whether we are going in the opposite direction, that of Eurosceptics and that of sovereigns, to join the new world that is build around China, a new superpower to replace the USA.

The division of the European Union will only serve to transfer certain countries that currently integrate it to a new international organization based on the BRICS (group of countries that created a trade alliance, formed by China, Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa).

Without the American friend, the European Union is bewildered, and following the guidelines of Donald Trump is a mistake, which is moreover well patented in the recognition of Juan Guaidó as President of Venezuela, in the decision errors about NATO and the UN, not to mention abandonment. global forums such as the G20 (set of finance ministers and central bank presidents of the 19 largest economies in the world plus the European Union).

What then is expected of the German presidency? Here it is: 1) an Economic Recovery Program; 2) a Multiannual Budget 2021-2027; and 3) a Migration Pact.

The mediation of the agreement for the approval of the Economic Recovery Program, presented by the president of the European Commission on May 27, after a Franco-German initiative, foresees a cake of 750.000 billion euros for the countries most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, of which 500.000 billion would be subsidized and the remainder borrowed.

For this to be possible, Angela Merkel will have to convince the so-called “frugal” countries, that is, Austria, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands, which accept to grant loans, but do not accept to grant subsidies.

As a result of the Economic Recovery Program, Charles Michel has been, since May, in consultations with Member States, by videoconference, so that, in this presidency, they agree on a long-term budget of 1.100 billion euros for 2021- 2027, to which would be added the 750.000 billion euros of the Economic Recovery Program. This multiannual budget 2021-2027 will undoubtedly be the most ambitious and expensive in the Union's history.

The Migration Pact will lay the foundation for a common asylum and immigration policy. A foundation will be laid for the European Border Agency (Frontex), which will cease to be a mere administrative center in support of national authorities in migratory crises, as occurred in 2015, to become an international police body equipped with more than ten thousand effective and sophisticated material for surveillance of land, sea and air borders.

The said Pact, by creating common procedures for the entry and departure of people from third states, will prevent uncontrolled migratory flows and save the Schengen area, where, until now, governments individually make decisions, but only those most convenient to their national interests, thereby forgetting the principle of free movement between signatory countries.

The European Union's role in the global economy will depend to a large extent on its forthcoming presidency. A real crossroads.


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