The German EU Council Presidency in 2020

Board with logo of the German EU Presidency 2020 on a house wall
© DAAD Brussels

From 1 July to 31 December 2020, it is Germany’s turn to take over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union. 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.

  • 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.

© DAAD Brüssel

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

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
DAAD-Gebäude und Fahnen

© DAAD/Pankau

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.


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

Highlights of the DAAD programme under the German Presidency

  • 1 October: “Shaping Europe – Strengthening Europe: Ideas for 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.
    To the event page
  • 5-6 October: “Moving target digitalisation: re-thinking global exchange in higher education”
    virtual conference with around 300 international experts to discuss the challenges of internationalising higher education institutions – under the hashtag #MovingTarget2020. There’s also a call for contributions prior to the conference.
    To the event page
  • 12-13 November: “#DigiEduHack – Together we redefine learning”
    this series of online and offline idea-hackathons happening world-wide focuses on co-creating the future of education in the digital age and is based on an EIT initiative within the European Commission’s Digital Education Action Plan. The main event in 2020 will take place under the German Council Presidency in Berlin – organised by the DAAD, the HFD and the TU Berlin and funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
    To the event page


Screenshot of map with location of DAAD-office marked