Strong voices for Europe

The economy, security, health and development: we asked experts on Europe for their views on the key topics shaping Germany’s presidency of the EU Council.

‘Europe has agreed on an ambitious compact for the future with 78 African, Caribbean and Pacific states that will apply to more than 1.5 billion people. I am delighted that this agreement has been achieved during Germany’s Presidency of the EU Council. Europe must seize this opportunity and use it to create fair trading relations on an equal footing. If we do that, then we will trigger the biggest leaps in development.’

Dr Gerd Müller, German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development

‘We need a holistic development cooperation approach and we need to work together as Europeans. Only by acting as Team Europe can we overcome the global challenges of our time and show the world that the European Union is more than just the sum of its Member States.’

Martin Jäger, State Secretary in the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

Michael Roth

‘The European Union is more than a single market. It is first and foremost a community based on common laws and values. We will place greater emphasis on this during our Presidency of the Council. Uncompromisingly values-oriented without fear of being different – that is the essence of our identity!’

Michael Roth, Minister of State for Europe
at the Federal Foreign Office

Tanya Cox

‘Germany should lead the EU to tackle inequalities worldwide and rebuild better post-Covid-19 via transformative sustainable development.’

Tanya Cox, Director,

Ibrahim Hassane Mayaki

‘The partnership between Europe and Africa offers an opportunity to lay the foundations for a new multilateralism. This partnership intelligently readjusts the limits of bilateralism and strengthens our regional priorities. The more Africa is integrated, the more it will contribute to the world.’

Ibrahim Hassane Mayaki, Chief Executive Officer
African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD)

David McAllister

‘The coronavirus pandemic has shown that we need a global response and more international cooperation. This will be a main focus of the German Presidency in foreign affairs.’

David McAllister, Member of the European Parliament


Tanja Gönner

‘The EU is an important partner for GIZ. It plays an especially vital role in dealing with the impact of coronavirus because it sets the policy framework for a sustainable and climate-friendly economic recovery after the crisis.’

Tanja Gönner, Chair of the Management Board of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Koen Doens

‘Africa and Europe are each other’s closest neighbours and partners. What happens in one affects the other. I welcome Germany’s exemplary Team Europe approach, contributing to a renewed Africa-EU partnership.’

Koen Doens, Director-General, International Cooperation and Development at the European Commission

Ashok-Alexander Sridharan

‘Solidarity is crucial during the coronavirus crisis. And solidarity is also the highest principle of the European Union. Cooperation between European neighbours is therefore crucial to our path back to normality and will enable us to emerge stronger from the crisis.’

Ashok-Alexander Sridharan, former Mayor of the city of Bonn

Siegfried Leffler

‘Development depends on security – to put it simply and starkly. For that reason, the EU wants to increase its support for peace work and attaches great importance to good governance, democracy and human rights.’

Siegfried Leffler, Director of the GIZ Representation in Brussels