integration 3/2020: Digital tax, Conference on the Future of Europe, Austro-German cooperation potential and the German Council Presidency

Great hopes lie on the German Council Presi­dency, which the German government took over in July 2020. Not only the fight against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic challenges the European Union (EU), but also the negoti­ation of the multi-annual financial framework, a new pact on migration and asylum, climate protection and finding agreement on the EU’s future relations with the United Kingdom are on the agenda. In addition to the German Presi­dency, highly topical issues are examined in the current issue 3/2020 of the quarterly journal integration: a European digital tax, the Conference on the Future of Europe and the potential for Austrio-German cooper­ation at European level.

Daniel Klein, Christopher Ludwig and Christoph Spengel explain the Commis­sion’s proposals for direc­tives on the taxation of digital companies presented so far and describe the technical and political hurdles that are difficult to overcome on the way to a multi­lateral solution. In their contri­bution, Zekije Bajrami et al. analyze the extent to which an Austrio-German tandem has the potential to build bridges between increas­ingly forming inter­gov­ern­mental blocs within the EU, taking into account European key policy issues. In a commented reprint of their contri­bution from integration 1/2007, Daniel Göler and Mathias Jopp compare the context and challenges of the current German Council Presi­dency with those of 2007 and note that although the issues and expec­ta­tions were compa­rable at the time, the political environment has changed consid­erably and the general openness for integration has declined since. In the forum section, Julian Plottka outlines three conceivable inter­pre­ta­tions for the design of the Conference on the Future of Europe and identifies central factors that will determine the success or failure of the project. Vittoria Meißner reports from the virtual edition of the German Pre-Presi­dency Conference organized by the Trans European Policy Studies Associ­ation and Institut für Europäische Politik on the topic of challenges for the German Council Presi­dency.