Age-old certainties are valid no longer – this is how the Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel recently summarized the situation the European Union (EU) finds itself at this point in time. This seems all the more true in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its socio-economic implications for Europe and the world. The current crisis demonstrates that the EU is at an important crossroads. The political decisions the EU is now taking to deal with the crisis will shape the future of the European project and the role of the EU as a global player in the coming years. In light of growing nationalism and the increasing great power rivalry between the US and China, a strong EU foreign policy that is committed to maintaining a rules-based global order is needed. However, it remains to be seen whether the EU will be willing and able to take responsibility to contribute to global sustainable development and a post-COVID-19 global order. The German Presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of 2020 and the upcoming EU-AU summit provide Germany and the EU with the opportunity to address these challenges and forge lasting alliances for strengthening global cooperation, particularly with their African partners.
The German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) has been analysing the foreign and development policies of the EU for many years. DIE provides scientific analyses and policy recommendations for developing political strategies for the EU’s international role. DIE researchers are also contributing their expertise to the German Presidency of the Council of the EU in 2020. Moreover, DIE works closely with German and international partners, for example within the European Think Tanks Group (ETTG). On this site, we have gathered a selection of DIE’s work on EU foreign and development policies.