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Source: European Parliament

Priority dossiers under the German EU Council Presidency

01-07-2020

Germany is a federal parliamentary republic, with federal power vested in the Bundestag (the German parliament) and the Bundesrat (the representatives of Germany’s regional states, Länder). The Bundestag is the only body at the federal level directly elected by the people, and is currently composed of 709 members. The Bundestag is elected every four years by German citizens aged 18 and over. The current Bundestag is led by the CDU (Christian Democratic Union) with 33 % of representation, followed by the SPD (Social Democratic Party) with 24 % and then by the AFD (Alternative for Germany) with 11 %. These are followed by: the Free Democratic Party (FDP), the Left (Die Linke), Alliance 90/The Greens (Grüne) and the Christian Social Union (CSU). Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has been in office since 2005, heads the executive government. The executive is elected by the Bundestag and is responsible to it. The German head of state is the federal President, currently Frank-Walter Steinmeier. The federal President has a role in the political system, particularly in the establishment of a new government and its possible dissolution. Germany has held the Council Presidency 12 times since becoming a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957. The country last held the Presidency in 2008. It will take the helm of the EU Council Presidency on 1 July 2020, starting the trio Presidency composed of Germany, Portugal and Slovenia. The Trio has adopted a Declaration outlining the main areas of focus for their Trio, including democracy, human rights and the rule of law, as well as an economically strong EU based on growth and jobs and the social dimension. Likewise the three Member States have pledged to work on the challenges of digitalisation, climate change and energy transition. It is to be noted that the Trio is working on a revised declaration to reflect the changed situation in Europe due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Strategic Agenda 2019-2024 endorsed by the Member States at the European Council meeting of 20 June 2019 will remain, however, a guiding instrument. The Agenda covers the protection of citizens’ freedoms; developing a strong and vibrant economic base; building a climate-neutral, green, fair and social Europe; and promoting European interests and values on the global stage.

Germany is a federal parliamentary republic, with federal power vested in the Bundestag (the German parliament) and the Bundesrat (the representatives of Germany’s regional states, Länder). The Bundestag is the only body at the federal level directly elected by the people, and is currently composed of 709 members. The Bundestag is elected every four years by German citizens aged 18 and over. The current Bundestag is led by the CDU (Christian Democratic Union) with 33 % of representation, followed by the SPD (Social Democratic Party) with 24 % and then by the AFD (Alternative for Germany) with 11 %. These are followed by: the Free Democratic Party (FDP), the Left (Die Linke), Alliance 90/The Greens (Grüne) and the Christian Social Union (CSU). Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has been in office since 2005, heads the executive government. The executive is elected by the Bundestag and is responsible to it. The German head of state is the federal President, currently Frank-Walter Steinmeier. The federal President has a role in the political system, particularly in the establishment of a new government and its possible dissolution. Germany has held the Council Presidency 12 times since becoming a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957. The country last held the Presidency in 2008. It will take the helm of the EU Council Presidency on 1 July 2020, starting the trio Presidency composed of Germany, Portugal and Slovenia. The Trio has adopted a Declaration outlining the main areas of focus for their Trio, including democracy, human rights and the rule of law, as well as an economically strong EU based on growth and jobs and the social dimension. Likewise the three Member States have pledged to work on the challenges of digitalisation, climate change and energy transition. It is to be noted that the Trio is working on a revised declaration to reflect the changed situation in Europe due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Strategic Agenda 2019-2024 endorsed by the Member States at the European Council meeting of 20 June 2019 will remain, however, a guiding instrument. The Agenda covers the protection of citizens’ freedoms; developing a strong and vibrant economic base; building a climate-neutral, green, fair and social Europe; and promoting European interests and values on the global stage.

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