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Germany to assume the EU Council Presidency on 1 July
From 1 July to 31 December 2020, it is Germany's turn to take over the rotating presidency of the European Council. The Presidency’s defining task - under the slogan "Together for Europe's recovery" - is to guide Europe out of the Corona crisis, which is also reflected in the Presidency’ logo: the distinctive Möbius strip, a strong band symbolising a united Europe. The official website "eu2020.de" is providing all relevant information in German, English and French, including a regularly updated online calendar of all Presidency-related events.
The priorities of the working programme are to deal with the consequences of the Corona pandemic and to ensure Europe’s economic recovery, conclude the negotiations on the EU’s forthcoming budget and to negotiate the future relationship with the United Kingdom. Further priorities concern 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. The German Presidency also marks the start of a new "Trio Presidency" together with Portugal and Slovenia, which will take the lead after Germany.
In education and research priority will be given to the timely adoption of legislative proposals for the EU programmes Horizon Europe and Erasmus+. Other important topics are the further development of the European Research Area and the European Education Area as well as updating the European Skills Agenda and Digital Education Action Plan and setting-up the Strategic framework for cooperation in the field of education and training as of 2021.
On 3 June, the DAAD Brussels office organised a joint webinar together with the European Liaison Office of the German Research Organisations (KoWi) and with support of the German Permanent Representation to the EU, highlighting the priorities of the German EU Council Presidency in the fields of education, research and innovation.
The German Presidency website with link to the German- and Trio presidency programme: www.eu.2020.de
Information on education and research priorities of the German Presidency can be found on DAAD Brussels website.
Interim financial aid for German and foreign students in times of Corona
As of 16 June, German and foreign students, who are enrolled at a public or state-recognised higher education institution in Germany, can apply for interim financial aid provided by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). In order to qualify for the support, they must prove that they are faced with financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The application needs to be addressed to the responsible student service (“Studierendenwerk”) via an online form. Depending on the proven need, between EUR 100 and EUR 500 can be paid out as a non-repayable grant.
The interim financial aid complements other BMBF initiatives that have already been launched to support students in the unprecedented situation caused by the coronavirus crisis such as the continued support for BAföG (federal training assistance) recipients or the possibility to apply for an interest-free loan from the “Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau” (KfW) of up to EUR 650 per month. Since 1 June, the application for an KfW student loan is also possible for foreign students if they are EU citizens or citizens of third countries who have been in Germany for less than three years.