GERMANY: Merkel succession looms right after the Council presidency

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Germany’s presidency of the Council of the EU starts on 1 July. Rather than forcing a complete change to the topics Berlin had planned to prioritize, the pandemic has reframed many of these issues. This counts for the relationship with China (there is still hope for a winter edition of the Leipzig summit initially planned for September) as well as cooperation with African countries, climate change, the digital transformation, and questions around the rule of law in Eastern Europe. The same is true of the need to agree the bloc’s next seven-year macro budget (MFF). For years, many in Bruss
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