The Covid-19 crisis has left the feeling that Europeans lack solidarity and trust in each other, especially in budgetary matters. Yet the Union's integration model has benefited all its members. In order to strengthen confidence, it is necessary to reinforce the communication effort and the Union's cultural and moral dimension.
The Just Transition Mechanism (JTM) designed to support the Union's move towards carbon neutrality by 2050 has been criticised for its lack of clarity with regard to its financing and operation. However, it appears that its main merit is that it establishes a positive dynamic initiated by the European public authorities with a view to achieving a transition based on solidarity for all territories.
The crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic is accentuating the technological, economic and security challenges that the Union faces in its relations with China, Russia and the United States. Its neighbourhood policy, particularly in the Western Balkans, is an important instrument for the promotion of its strategic interests.
An area of trade and conflict since antiquity, the Mediterranean Sea remains a major crossroads for the interaction of the main strategic competitors. The multiplication of actors, and the inevitable duplicity that goes with it, generate the ambiguity of stated or real intentions. But Europe is best placed to understand this uncertain space and take a more active part.
Negotiations are continuing over the summer between the European Union and the United Kingdom to establish the terms of their future relationship after 31 December 2020. Many sensitive issues remain outstanding. The German Presidency of the Council will have a crucial role to play in leading the discussions with London, but Boris Johnson's government will have to put pragmatism before ideology.