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Germany's Presidency of the Council of the European Union in figures

The European Council meeting in Brussels this July lasted for over 91 hours.


Germany's Presidency of the Council of the European Union in figures
Chancellor Angela Merkel at the European Council meeting in Brussels in July: at 91 hours and 20 minutes it was the second longest European Council meeting in history. Photo: Bundesregierung/Bergmann

Oct 11, The translation tool that was developed especially for the 13th German Presidency of the Council of the European Union has already translated over 40 million words. Here is a round-up of some interesting facts and figures about Germany’s Presidency.


6-day week: The working week of German Ambassador Michael Clauß begins early on Sunday afternoon. He is the Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Germany to the European Union in Brussels, where he is assisted by his deputy, Susanne Szech-Koundouros and a large staff.


30 per cent meetings held in person: Germany, which currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the EU, is 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 30 per cent of meetings are actually taking place in person during the six months. The rest are taking the form of video conferences or other virtual meetings.


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.


40 million words: The EU Council Presidency Translator has already translated this number of words into 24 different languages (as of September 2020). 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 on 1 July, for the 13th time. Germany last held the Presidency of the Council of the EU in 2007. 


2nd Presidency of the Council of the European Union for Chancellor Angela Merkel: Chancellor Angela Merkel is also fully familiar with the Presidency of the Council of the EU. During her first period in office in 2007 Germany also held the Presidency.

28 pages: The programme for Germany’s Presidency runs to 28 pages. Its motto is "Together for Europe’s recovery" and it concisely sums up Germany’s top priorities. You will find the full programme here.

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