The United Kingdom (UK) officially left the European Union (EU) on January 31, 2020, after which the two parties will kick off talks on a new phase of bilateral relations. However, many of the outstanding issues, that are expected to be discussed during the transitional period which will last until the end of 2020, will determine the nature of these relations and whether they will be framed within a cooperation framework leading to a win-win deal, or exit from the transitional phase without a deal.
After its relative absence until recently, Africa has become increasingly important for Germany. A number of major shifts have played a role in the continent’s rise to the top of the priorities of Germany’s political policy agenda, mainly the outbreak of the refugee crisis and the migration of Africans to Europe in 2015, in addition to the rise in the activity of terrorism and organized crime networks in Africa, and Berlin’s desire to play a greater role in the continent. This has driven Germany to pay more attention to Africa. This was manifested at several levels in light of Germany’s growing interests and motives with respect to Africa. This would enhance Germany’s future influence in the continent.
The coronavirus crisis has deeply affected the German economy. Both local and global lockdowns due to the pandemic have resulted in the destruction of the three main foundations of the German economy, namely domestic consumption, internal and external German investments, and exports. Despite the numerous financial packages and assistance programmes injected by the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel into faltering sectors to achieve stability, the German economy will not recover from the effects of the pandemic before the end of 2022, according to the German Federal Bank (the Deutsche Bundesbank).
Europe has become the global epicentre of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic since the end of April 2020. Despite the accelerating increase in infections and deaths in February and March in Italy, which was the first and most affected European country by the virus, and even the country with the then highest number of infections globally, the response of the European Union (EU) was extremely slow. At first, EU institutions seemed unaware of the size of the danger threatening its member states. The initial response of the EU was described as awkward, which brought it under severe criticism by the most affected countries such as Italy and Spain. French President Emmanuel Macron warned of the collapse of the EU as a political project if it does not take serious steps to support the economies of the afflicted countries.
The years following the referendum on Britain’s exit from the European Union (Brexit) have revealed that the “European club” is capable, despite the painful Brexit blow, of showing resilience and adeptly facing the British precedent. They have also shed light on imminent questions within the UK regarding the future, unity, stability and nature of the country that the UK aspires to be. The cornonavirus epidemic has raised the challenge to severe levels that have shaken the UK’s reputation in terms of its claim about being capable of resistance alone, without Europe, to fulfil aspirations that its EU membership had prevented.
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