Ireland and Germany: side by side in the EU and the UN
Foreign Minister Maas with his Irish counterpart, © Thomas Trutschel
During the visit by the Irish Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas symbolically hands over the “baton” of membership for non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council to Ireland. Relations of the two countries and the EU with the UK are also on the agenda.
The Federal Government is approaching the end of an eventful and packed year. Both the Presidency of the EU Council and the period of membership of the UN Security Council are ending for Germany on 31 December. On 1 January 2021, Ireland is taking on the role of non-permanent member for two years.
For Germany, two highly intensive years in the Security Council are drawing to a close. Germany tried to use its influence as well as it could in dealing with conflicts such as those in Syria, Libya or the Sudan, but also on topics such as sexualised violence in conflicts and climate change.
Brexit: marathon entering the home straight?
Needless to say, Heiko Maas and Simon Coveney are also discussing Brexit today. Following the meeting between European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday, the negotiations are now continuing. Michel Barnier is endeavouring to reach agreement with the United Kingdom on central dossiers. Germany stands firmly at Ireland’s side as the effects of Brexit will be felt more strongly there than in any other member state. The contacts between Berlin and Dublin are therefore particularly close here. It is clear to Heiko Maas that reaching agreement remains possible albeit difficult. The EU wants an agreement but not at any price. After all, certain achievements of the EU, such as the integrity of the internal market, are, from the point of view of the EU, non-negotiable. Should no agreement be reached, Germany and the EU are prepared. On Wednesday, the Commission published its emergency planning, while the Federal Government is also providing information on the necessary steps for citizens and businesses. Yet, most important of all is that the EU and the UK will remain close partners and friends regardless of whether or not a deal is reached. The two need one another and continue to work around the world to promote peace, democracy and human rights.