By Efi Koutsokosta
& Alessio Dell’Anna
Euronews Brussels correspondent Efi Koutsokosta speaking on Euronews Now
Angela Merkel on Thursday handed over the European Union’s rotating presidency to Portugal and its top minister, Antonio Costa.
The presidency of the Council of the European Union – made up of leaders from all EU countries – switches every six months.
In a video message, German Chancellor Merkel wished Portugal “every success” and said Germany would “make stronger Portugal to the most productive of its ability”.
How a hit became once the German presidency?
The largest success of the German presidency became once preserving the bloc collectively at some point soon of the COVID-19 disaster.
It first bridged the differences between northern and southern countries at some point soon of marathon talks that resulted in the approval of the coronavirus restoration fund in July.
Then, later in December, it managed to reach a compromise with Hungary and Poland over the €1.8 trillion budget, following their veto threats.
Merkel, on the different hand, became once criticised over her foreign policy, in explicit the handling of the family members with Turkey following the nation’s territorial claims in the jap Mediterranean, and the next diplomatic disaster with Greece.
Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas did strive and mediate with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan nonetheless in the rupture didn’t receive him to bear a extra collaborative procedure.
What’s forward for Portugal’s presidency?
The largest elements forward for Portugal are the implementation of the Restoration Fund and EU budget, as neatly as the enforcement of the post-Brexit trade take care of the UK.
Portugal will additionally be expected to reform the EU’s migration policy, most notably the Dublin regulation.
One other key whisper Portugal is anticipated to tackle is the expansion of the EU, with talks expected to happen with North Macedonia.
The trade relationship with China, as neatly as with the newly elected US president Joe Biden will additionally be on top of Portugal’s agenda.