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One month before the start of the 18-month joint trio presidency of the EU Council on 1 July 2020, Economic Affairs Minister Altmaier will be exchanging views with his counterparts from the trio partner countries of Slovenia and Portugal in a video conference today. The focus of the talks will be on the priorities of the European competitiveness, trade, energy, telecommunications and cohesion policies during the trio presidency from 1 July 2020 until 31 December 2021.

Federal Minister Altmaier said: “We want to effectively use the coming 18 months of our trio presidency to make progress on joint priorities and projects in the EU. Continuity is particularly important to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences.”

He added that close coordination between the trio partners of Germany, Portugal and Slovenia is a key element to efficiently cope with the crisis, draw the right conclusions and help the European Union emerge stronger from the crisis.

On the Slovenian side, Minister of Economic Development and Technology Zdravko Počivalšek, Minister of Infrastructure Jernej Vrtovec and Minister of Public Administration Bšotjan Koritnik are expected to attend the video conference. Portugal will be represented by Minister of the Economy and Digital Transition Dr Pedro Siza Vieira and five State Secretaries.

As was the case in 2007 and 2008, Germany, Portugal and Slovenia will form a ‘trio presidency’, starting with the German EU Council Presidency in the second half of 2020 and ending with the Portuguese and Slovenian presidencies in the first and second halves of 2021. In June 2020, Germany, Portugal and Slovenia will submit a joint programme of work for the trio presidency to the Council of the European Union for approval.