In July, the heads of state and government met for 91 hours in Brussels. In December they agreed on a historic 1.8 trillion euro budget for the EU. Here are some interesting figures that reflect Germany's Presidency of the Council of the European Union, which will come to a close on 31 December.
1.8 trillion euros:
A historic financial package was passed during Germany's Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The member states agreed on the Multiannual Financial Framework for the next seven years and a recovery fund to address the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The EU funds are also protected by a rule-of-law conditionality mechanism.
55% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030:
The heads of state and government agreed on this ambitious climate target in December. It is an important interim step on the way to an important milestone for the EU: climate neutrality by 2050.
91 hours and 20 minutes:
That was the length of the European Council meeting held from 17 to 21 July in Brussels, making it the second longest European Council meeting in history. The items on the agenda included the pandemic recovery fund and the Multiannual Financial Framework. Only the European Council meeting in Nice in 2000 was longer, at 91 hours and 45 minutes.
The working week of German Ambassador Michael Clauß began early on Sunday afternoon. He is the Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Germany to the European Union in Brussels, where he was assisted by his deputy, Susanne Szech-Koundouros and a large staff.
25% of meetings held in person:
Germany, which currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the EU, was responsible for organising and chairing the meetings of the Council of the EU and of the 200 or so working parties and committees. As a result of the pandemic, only about 25% of meetings actually took place in person. The rest took the form of video conferences or other virtual meetings.
130 million words:
The EU Council Presidency Translator has translated this number of words into the 24 official EU languages. The machine translation system was developed especially for Germany's Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The freely accessible translation service is also free of charge and is based on artificial intelligence.
13th German Presidency of the Council of the European Union:
Every six months the Presidency of the Council of the European Union passes from one member state to the next. Germany took over at the helm from 1 July to 31 December 2020. It was the 13th German Presidency. Germany last held the Presidency of the Council of the EU in 2007.