Slovakia is approaching the German EU Council presidency with high expectations. Germany has traditionally been one of Slovakia’s key political and economic partners and, at the EU level, a mediator that is perceptive of Central Europe’s social and political context. Bratislava is consequently pinning its hopes on the presidency to broker compromises that will accommodate Slovak priorities. Although a member of the Visegrad Group (V4), Slovakia has been increasingly diversifying its cooperation formats (e.g. the Slavkov format with Austria and the Czech Republic has gained prominence during the Covid-19 pandemic). Slovakia is likely diversifying its cooperation formats (e.g. the Slavkov format with Austria and the Czech Republic has gained prominence during the Covid-19 pandemic). Slovakia is likely to navigate a path that enables the country to be seen as a constructive player from the region.
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This piece was published as part of the European Policy Institutes Network (EPIN) report ‘Member states’ expectations towards the German Council Presidency' edited by Sophia Russack and Minna Ålander. The report is published in cooperation with CEPS and SWP think tanks.
As Germany assumes the presidency of the Council of the EU, the Union is facing the “biggest test of its history” according to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and a severe economic recession could not be more extraordinary. The weight of expectations on Berlin to assume a European leadership role during the presidency are as extraordinary as those challenges. What exactly do other member states expect from Germany and how do they set their policy priorities? To answer this, the European Policy Institutes Network (EPIN) has compiled an analysis of 15 different national perspectives.