Virtual Annual Council Meeting 2020

, Berlin time (CEST, UTC+2)

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The ECFR Annual Council Meeting is one of the leading conferences on Europe’s foreign policy. This year, the meeting took place virtually on 29-30 June.

Originally planned to be held in Berlin, this year’s Annual Council Meeting was the first one held online due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The focus this year was Europe’s Sovereignty agenda, impact of the covid-19 pandemic and the German EU Council Presidency in the second half of 2020.


Monday, 29 June

  • 12.00 – 12.55
    • Opening: Germany in Europe and the German EU presidency
      • Heiko Maas, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, Germany (pre-recorded)
      • Followed by discussion:
      • Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, Deputy Chairman of FDP parliamentary group, German Parliament
      • Franziska Brantner, Member of the Bundestag; spokeswoman for European policy and parliamentary whip for Alliance 90/The Greens
      • Niels Annen, Minister of State, Federal Foreign Office; Member of the Bundestag
      • Norbert Röttgen, Co-Chair, ECFR; Chairman for Foreign Affairs Committee, German Parliament
      • Chaired by Lykke Friis, Co-Chair, ECFR; Director of Think Tank Europa
  • 13.00 – 14.00
  • 14.15 – 15.15
    • Security Cooperation after Brexit
      • Mircea Geoana, Deputy Secretary General, NATO
      • Lisa Nandy, Shadow Foreign Secretary, House of Commons
      • David McAllister, Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, European Parliament
      • Chaired by Anand Menon, Professor of European Politics and Foreign Affairs, King’s College London
  • 15.20 – 16.20
    • Quarantimes Special Session
      • Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
      • Chaired by Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Board Member, ECFR; Former Prime Minister of Denmark
  • 16.30 – 17.15
    • A conversation with George Soros
      • George Soros, Founder and Chairman, Open Society Foundations
      • Chaired by Mabel van Oranje, Emeritus Chair, ECFR; Chair, Girls Not Brides
  • 17.30 – 18.30
    • Europe’s role in global health
      • Jens Spahn, Federal Minister of Health, Germany
      • Mark Suzman, CEO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
      • Chaired by Gunilla Carlsson, Former Deputy Executive Director, UNAIDS; Former Minister for International Development Cooperation, Sweden

Tuesday, 30 June

  • 10.30 – 11.30
  • 12.00 – 13.00
    • European solidarity in crisis mode
      • Opening by Jana Puglierin, Head, ECFR Berlin
      • Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy and Finance, France
      • Manuel Muñiz, State Secretary for Global Spain
      • Alexander Stubb, Board Member, ECFR; Director of the European University Institute’s School of Transnational Governance; Former Prime Minister of Finland
      • Chaired by Teresa Gouveia, Board Member, ECFR; Former Foreign Minister, Portugal
  • 13.05 – 14.00
    • Covid-19, geopolitics and European sovereignty
      • Opening by Susi Dennison, Director, European Power programme, ECFR
      • Ivan Krastev, Board Member, ECFR; Chairman, Centre for Liberal Strategies
      • Alexander Soros, Deputy Chair, Open Society Foundations
      • Chaired by Mark Leonard, Director, ECFR