Al Jazeera has been granted permission to travel to the EU’s second largest economy, where it will interview leaders from the continent’s two largest countries about the economic future and the challenges facing them.
The EU’s foreign ministers are due to meet in Brussels on Tuesday (18 September) to discuss issues ranging from the migration crisis to the migration flow and the impact of the Brexit vote on the bloc.
However, the visit comes as tensions have flared in Germany over a decision by the country’s government to open a second German-speaking border with Poland, which has triggered an immediate backlash from neighbouring France.
Al Jazeera’s foreign correspondent, Paul Wood, said the summit could help to calm tensions in the EU.
“The EU and the EU institutions are still trying to come to a consensus over what exactly the EU is supposed to be,” he said.
“So it is quite interesting that we will be invited to come here, because we are not at the summit and the talks are still ongoing.”
Al Jazeera spoke to several European officials, including European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, EU finance commissioner Pierre Moscovici and EU Commissioner for International Trade, Janos Lazar.
The leaders are expected to discuss the future of the EU economy, trade and migration.
The trip is part of the European Commission’s efforts to bolster economic ties between the bloc and its smaller economies.
The European Commission has set up a website where members can find out more about the upcoming visit and get the latest news and updates.
The website is still under construction.
Aljazeera spoke to one EU official who said he hoped the visit would be “a good boost” for relations.
“I think this is a good opportunity to give the Europeans a lot of good news,” said the official, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue.
“I hope that the EU can help build trust, improve the relationship between the countries of the region and the Europeans.”
A visit by the EU to the United States has already been discussed and is likely to be part of a broader EU-US economic and security agenda.
However the US is currently struggling to find common ground with European nations on issues such as trade and immigration, which could make it difficult for the EU and its allies to get a better grasp of how to move forward in a post-Brexit world.