EM Germany Newsletter July 2024 | After the 2024 European elections: What lies ahead for Europe?

Dear readers,

on June 9 Europe voted. The good news first: hope for a free, democratic Europe is growing outside the EU of all places: Downing Street is being led by an anti-populist who is capable of compromise and even has a strong connection to the Council of Europe's human rights protection organisation.
Voter turnout had risen again in the European elections and there is a clear pro-European majority in the new European Parliament, which is moving together in a pleasantly constructive manner. However, the strengthening of anti-European parties should fill us all with concern. What this shift to the right can also mean in concrete terms in individual member states can now be seen in France: To the relief of the friends of Europe, the strong performance of the RN in the first round of the elections was not repeated in the run-off on Sunday: the tactic of the left-wing alliance and the president to come to an agreement also shows: democrats sticking together pays off. Everything now depends on a change of political culture in France: even in the Fifth Republic, compromises and coalitions are possible. Still, this is unlikely to be easy. Macron, who often aspires to govern with absolute power, has been severely weakened domestically; no new pro-European initiatives are to be expected from France in the near future. European policy coordination is now also becoming more difficult on the other side of the Rhine. The French representation in the Council formations, which we so regularly de-brief in the EM Germany, will probably no longer be as easily controlled by the Elysée as before. The already bumpy German European coordination policy will become even more challenging as a result of Paris.

Meanwhile, Viktor Orbàn is arrogating to himself in Moscow and Beijing the right to lead the EU. In that, he is relying on ignorance. After all, his foreign minister is formally the chairman of the General Council. The specialised councils are chaired by different ministers. In Kaja Kallas, a worthy opponent of Orbán and above all Putin is likely to chair the Foreign Affairs Council soon. Besides, the chances are that the socialist Portuguese Costa will be a credible adversary of Orbán as the future President of the European Council.

Our EM Germany de-briefing with H.E. Dr Péter Györkös, Hungarian Ambassador to Germany, accomodated the purely technical significance of the Presidency. Even Hungary's priorities fit in: strengthening competitiveness, developing defence capabilities and security, protecting external borders and EU enlargement with a focus on the Western Balkans. However, we as EM Germany are missing a clear positioning and expression of solidarity by Hungary with Ukraine, a commitment to democracy and the rule of law and to the European Green Deal. The enlargement of the EU towards the Western Balkans is very much welcomed by the EM Germany.

The EU legislation, which will only begin late this year, will surely be properly moderated by Budapest. In the coming months, Prime Minister Orbàn will continue to cause maximum irritation. And in Ukraine, he will make pro-Russian adjustments. I am therefore particularly annoyed that Germany and Hungary have softened and blocked the last sanctions package. Irresponsible.

Dr. Linn Selle

President of the European Movement Germany e.V.

#EBDGrafik of the month

On 1 July 2024, Hungary took over the rotating presidency of the EU Council. What are Hungary's priorities for its EU Council Presidency? The current EM Germany graphic of the month shows the programme of the Hungarian Council Presidency and assesses these goals from the perspective of the EM Germany. | Download

EM Germany News

EBD-Briefing on the Hungarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union | On 1 July, Hungary took over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Over the next six months, important decisions will have to be made for the EU, including the constitution of the new European Parliament and the appointment of new leaders. During this phase, it is particularly important that the Council Presidency is able to act and actively drive projects forward. Against this backdrop, H.E. Dr Péter Györkös, Hungarian Ambassador to Germany, presented the country's priorities at the start of the EU Council Presidency at the EBD briefing in the Hungarian Embassy. The priorities include strengthening Europe's competitiveness, expanding defence capabilities and security, protecting common external borders and EU enlargement with a focus on the Western Balkans. The programme of the Hungarian Council Presidency was then assessed from the perspective of the German government by Sibylle Katharina Sorg, Head of the European Department at the Federal Foreign Office, and Dr Kirsten Scholl, Head of the Department for European Affairs at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection. Gosia Binczyk, Deputy Head of the European Commission Representation in Germany, and Dr Linn Selle, President of the European Movement Germany (EM), shared their perspectives and assessments. The panel discussion was moderated by Bernd Hüttemann, Secretary General of the European Movement Germany (EM). | More (in German)

EM Germany President on DLF programme "Zur Diskussion" | Linn Selle discussed the topic "New power relations: How are far-right parties changing Europe?". She spoke with Ralph Brinkhaus MP, Rolf-Dieter Krause and Jan-Werner Müller about the outcome of the European elections, the substantive and political reasons for the electoral success of right-wing populist parties and the responsibility of democratic parties in dealing with them. Among other things, she emphasised the challenge of placing European policy issues at the centre of the debate in terms of communication and standing up to far-right parties in terms of content. | More (in German)

EM Germany Presidency calendar at the start of HU2024EU | The Hungarian Presidency marks the last of three chapters in the joint 18-month presidency programme of Spain-Belgium-Hungary. At the start, in July, the EM Germany published the calendar for the Hungarian EU Council Presidency with an extensive overview of dates and events over the next six months. If you are interested in a printed copy, please contact us. | To the digital version of the calendar

Interview with EM Germany Secretary General Bernd Hüttemann on "Bayern 2 - Die Welt am Abend" about the start of EU accession talks with Ukraine and Moldova. Clear perspectives are important for the fight against corruption in the candidate countries, said Hüttemann. Listen to the interview.
In a further interview with Dr Moritz Küpper from Deutschlandfunk, Hüttemann also discussed the effects of the Italian constitutional reform under Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. | More (in German)

Double anniversary - 75 years of the Council of Europe and the EM Germany | The Council of Europe and the EM Germany are celebrating their 75th anniversaries this year. To mark this occasion, the EM Germany briefing of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe was dedicated to European unity. Simonas Šatūnas, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Republic of Lithuania, presented the Lithuanian work programme. Dr Anna Lührmann, Minister of State for Europe & Climate at the Federal Foreign Office, outlined the priorities from the perspective of the German government. In her speech, EMG President Dr Linn Selle referred to the spirit of European unity. Matjaž Gruden, Director for Democracy at the Council of Europe, and Prof. Dr Jürgen Mittag, historian, Jean Monnet Chair of Political Science and Sport at the German Sport University Cologne, spoke about the historical milestones of the two institutions. | More (in German)

Europe has voted | EM Germany President Dr Linn Selle emphasised in a press release on the evening of the election that the high voter turnout shows the relevance of the European elections for the people and calls for a proactive stance by the federal government and improved European coordination. As a follow-up to the European elections, the North Rhine-Westphalia Representation to the Federal Government, Europe.Table and the EM Germany invited people to discuss the election results with top party representatives and experts. EM Germany Secretary General Bernd Hüttemann was also on hand to discuss the significance of the election for the future of the EU | More (in German)

Upcoming Events

The Permanent Representation of France at the Council of Europe invites to participate at the Model Neotiation of the Council of Europe (#CoEMoN! 2024) from 26 to 29 August 2024. This unique event is organised by la Fédération pour la Diplomatie et les Nations Unies (FDNU) in close cooperation with the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. For three days, 250 European students will have the opportunity to participate in an extraordinary simulation of the two statutory bodies of the Council of Europe: the Parliamentary Assembly and the Committee of Ministers. The negotiations will take place in six committees in both French and English and will be accompanied by an exciting supporting programme. 

By the way, registration fees and accommodation costs are fully covered. Take the opportunity to slip into the role of a parliamentarian from one of the 46 member states and immerse yourself in the world of European diplomacy! | More

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