Following intensive consultations, the EU heads of state and government have reached agreement on a recovery fund to address the consequences of the pandemic and on a new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). The grants and guarantees allocated under the recovery fund will be tied to conditions. There will be a focus on future-proofing: 30 per cent of spending is earmarked for climate-related action and digitalisation.
The German Presidency of the Council of the EU began on 1 July. The programme of the Presidency is focused on the following key issues:
- Overcoming the coronavirus crisis in the long term as well as economic recovery
- A stronger and more innovative Europe
- A just and sustainable Europe
- A Europe of security and common values
- A strong Europe in the world.
The objectives of Germany’s Council Presidency include the further development of Europe’s technological sovereignty. This will establish a trustworthy data space and a European network for artificial intelligence. “AI Made in Europe” is to evolve to give Europe a global competitive edge and strengthen its technological sovereignty. Another priority is digital education throughout all phases of life and in vocational education and training (VET) in particular. VET plays a key role in equipping European societies for the labour market of the future.