United Germany held EU presidency three times so far: in the second half of 1994, in the first half of 1999 and at the beginning of 2007. Each of those presidencies took place in different economic and political circumstances and had to address changing current challenges. The article analyses the priorities and achievements of those presidencies and indicates their failures. The German presidencies and their results (in the form of summits and conclusions) prepared the ground for multilateralism with all its merits and drawbacks, which was subsequently declared by German diplomacy. The summits of the European Council which were held during the German presidencies and the conclusions that followed from them confirmed the major importance of the coordinating function discernible in the German Europapolitik. This function is the essence of presidency and therefore determines the European policy of the president country. Moreover, seeking to realize its national plans, Germany presented them as beneficial not merely for itself, but also for Europe and the entire process of integration. With this purpose in view, German presidency referred to such commonly shared values as peace, welfare, democracy or human rights. This allowed Germany to push initiatives which it deemed important and avoid the risk of being accused of appropriating the integration process.
Marek Zurek, Instytut Zachodni, Instytut Naukowo-Badawczy, 61-854 Poznan, ul. Mostowa 27, Poland
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