On Friday (13 April), Foreign Minister Heiko Maas travelled to the Belgian capital for his first official visit to the institutions of the European Union. In Brussels, Maas will hold talks with President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermanns and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini. Following the late formation of the government, expectations of Germany in the European institutions are high. With his trip, Foreign Minister Maas is highlighting the new Federal Government’s ambitions with regard to European policy.
Europe will have to face numerous challenges in the years to come. How can economic and monetary union prepare itself for crises in the future? Which approaches can ensure the common and sustainable management of migration movements? How can the Union ensure that fundamental principles such as the rule of law are preserved in all member states?
Agenda of cohesion
Germany will be committed to an agenda of cohesion in the years to come. “The discussions surrounding reform in the European discourse must be a project for all member states,” said Foreign Minister Maas in Brussels on Friday (13 April). The dialogue with smaller EU member states and partners in Eastern Europe in particular must therefore be intensified, he added.
Exerting influence together
In a multipolar world full of rapidly escalating crises and conflicts, it is getting increasingly difficult for individual European countries to make their voices heard. Germany will therefore work towards a stronger common European foreign and security policy. Europe will only be able to help shape global development if EU member states exert their political influence together. During his talks with Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Foreign Minister Maas will emphasise that this is not just a question of joint military operations. Germany is urging Europe to develop even stronger civilian instruments for preventing crises and conflicts around the world before they arise in the first place.