The 22nd meeting of the Franco-German Council of Ministers took place on Monday. Federal Chancellor Merkel, who was also the host of the virtual meeting, promised to make further joint efforts to tackle the coronavirus pandemic globally. French President Emmanuel Macron particularly emphasised the solidarity with Africa in dealing with the crisis.
We can only overcome the pandemic once a high percentage of the world’s population is vaccinated. From the start of the pandemic, the EU has worked to step up vaccine production and make the vaccines available worldwide.
In the wake of the most recent events in Belarus, the EU heads of state and government have decided to impose additional sanctions on the country. They demanded the release of blogger Roman Protasevich and his partner. Also on the agenda were Russia, climate action and the COVID-19 pandemic. Chancellor Angela Merkel said discussions were constructive and purposeful. “That also shaped the nature of this Council meeting.“
Thousands of people who are interested in politics from all parts of Europe took part in Europe Talks, a project that brings together two people with different political views from different European countries. Gabi Kremeskötter from Germany and Viktor Bonev from Bulgaria were one of the tandem pairs.
Following the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union on 1 February 2020, the transition period agreed upon in the Withdrawal Agreement will end on 31 December 2020. The UK will thus leave the single market and the customs union and EU rules will no longer apply to it.