Germany today began the rotating presidency of the European Union in the face of historic challenges. A particular focus will be on the massive economic recovery plan to help block out the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.
"Europe's future is our future," Merkel said Monday as she stood by French President Macron to push forward a $ 750 billion recovery fund from Covid's aftermath.
Germany began its EU presidency by projecting the words "Together for the recovery of Europe". After 15 years in office, Merkel is the longest-serving leader in the bloc, having previously held the EU presidency in 2007.
A first test will come at the EU summit on July 17-18, where Merkel hopes the leaders will reach an agreement on the 750 billion-euro rescue fund, proposed by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
Merkel has urged member states to "engage in an extraordinary act of solidarity", warning that an unequal recovery could hit the EU's single market and end up hurting even the strongest economies.