On 1 July 2020 Germany will take over the presidency of the Council of the EU. Major European issues such as the Commission’s proposal for a Recovery Instrument, the EU multiannual financial framework, or the negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship will fall within its term. If expectations were high before corona that a member state with the political weight and capacities of Germany would be able to significantly advance the political agenda at EU level, such expectations are even more prevalent now. At the same time, the institution of Council presidency has lost much of its bite under the Treaty of Lisbon. Germany does not only find itself wedged between different institutional actors with a limited time frame to achieve political results. It is also faced with an overcrowded agenda and many practical limitations caused by the pandemic. In this Policy Brief, Thu Nguyen analyzes and assesses the expectations as regards the German Council presidency, in particular by considering the institutional context in which it operates, and the limitations imposed by the pandemic.