Driving Europe forward as a trio

Presidency of the EU Council Driving Europe forward as a trio

Federal Chancellor Merkel has exchanged ideas with Portugal’s Prime Minister Costa and Slovenia’s Prime Minister Janša. Together the three countries will form the trio programme in the EU Council for the next 18 months. The focus of the trio programme will be on overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic.

This diagram shows a globe and next to it the countries of Germany, Portugal, Slovenia. (More information available below the photo under ‚detailed description‘.)

Germany, Portugal and Slovenia will take over presidency of the EU Council one after another for six months each.

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Photo: Bundesregierung

We want to learn the right lessons from the crisis and work together in driving forward the economic and social reconstruction of Europe, stressed Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, Portugal’s Prime Minister António Costa and Slovenia’s Prime Minister Janez Janša following their joint video conference.

Stronger, more equitable, more sustainable

Europe is to be stronger, more equitable and more sustainable as it emerges from the coronavirus pandemic, said the three heads of government. The aim is to strengthen the European Union’s resilience to pandemic crises for the long term, they added. Overcoming the coronavirus pandemic and ensuring the rapid economic and social reconstruction of Europe will form the focus of the trio programme. 

The trio programme was agreed that measures for climate protection and digitalisation must be at the forefront of this recovery. The strategic autonomy and digital sovereignty of the European Union are to be reinforced and its capacities for defence against cyber attacks are to be expanded.

Europe's role in the world

Continuing to extend the role of the European Union as an active global player is another joint objective of Germany, Portugal and Slovenia for the next 18 months. Among other things, relations between the European Union and key international partners such as China, India and Africa are to be strengthened during the trio presidency of the EU Council.

On 1 July, Germany will assume presidency of the EU Council for its six-month term. This date will also mark the start of the so-called trio programme of Germany, Portugal and Slovenia: Portugal will take over from Germany in January 2021 and then hand over to Slovenia six months later. The three nations will work closely together in a group of three known as a trio programme. The three countries formed the first trio programme of the EU Council in the history of the European Union back in 2007/2008.