From 1 July to 31 December 2020, it is Germany's turn to take over the rotating presidency of the European Council. We will update you on this page on developments in higher education regarding Germany's EU presidency.

On 24 June, the German Federal Government has published its working programme for the EU Council Presidency under the slogan "Together for Europe's recovery" and with the distinctive Möbius strip as the Presidency's logo - a strong band symbolising a united Europe.

About the priorities of the working programme

  • Dealing with the consequences of coronavirus and economic recovery
  • Conclusion of negotiations on the EU budget
  • Negotiations on the future relationship with the United Kingdom
  • Further topics such as the European Green Deal, digital transformation, a new start for EU migration and asylum policy, the strengthening of the rule of law, democracy and security and the role of the EU in the world

To the working programme

In the areas of education, research and innovation, the Presidency will focus on overcoming the corona crisis, contributing to the fight against climate change and addressing the opportunities and challenges of digitalisation and the associated changes in the world of education and work. Moreover, first implementation measures for a European area of education, research and innovation shall be launched.
To the website of the BMBF

The official website "" is providing all news and relevant information about the topics, programme and events of the Presidency in German, English and French - including a regularly updated online calendar of all political and cultural events related to the Presidency.

The German Presidency also marks the start of a new "Trio Presidency" together with Portugal and Slovenia, which will take the lead after Germany. Trio Programmes ensure a fluid transition from one EU member state to the other. To the press release

Education and Research in the 18-month Programme of the Trio

The aim of the programme is to strengthen the sustainability and crisis resilience of European education and research systems.

Priority will be given to the timely adoption of legislative proposals for the EU programmes Horizon Europe and Erasmus+ (including a recast of the Regulation on the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and the Decision on the EIT Strategic Innovation Agenda for the period 2021-2027).

Other important topics and plans are:

  • Investing in research, innovation and skills to increase competitiveness
  • Aligning scientific, research and innovation policies and promoting the EU's technological autonomy
  • Further developing the European Research Area
  • Further developing the European Education Area
  • Promoting investment in digital skills and education, including artificial intelligence, and updating the Digital Education Action Plan
  • Updating the European Skills Agenda
  • Action Plan on Integration and Inclusion, including access to digital education
  • Strategic framework for cooperation in the field of education and training

To the full text

The DAAD Brussels office organised a digital morning coffee on 3 June together with the European Liaison Office of the German Research Organisations (KoWi) and with support of the German Permanent Representation to the EU on the priorities of the German EU Council Presidency in the fields of education, research and innovation. To the event page

Flags with DAAD logo in front of the outer facade of the headquarters in Bonn.On 24 June, the DAAD expressed its expectation towards the German Federal Government to set the course for strengthening education and science within the EU. The DAAD's central points are to prioritise the role of education and research in the ongoing Brexit negotiations, to defend and strengthen academic freedom, and to obtain sufficient funding for the Erasmus+ programme, including funding for new measures such as the European universities. More

Highlights of the DAAD programme under the German Presidency

  • 1 October: "Shaping Europe - Strengthening Europe" event with DAAD alumni from all EU countries under the patronage of German Federal Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, with a video context under the motto “An idea for Europe” prior to the event.
  • 5-6 October: “Moving target digitalisation: re-thinking global exchange in higher education” conference with the German Federal Education Minister, Anja Karliczek, and around 300 international experts to discuss the challenges of internationalising higher education institutions. With a call for contributions prior to the conference. More