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The State of the European Union

In the immediate run-up to European parliamentary elections, the ACG’s Eric M. Warburg Chapters in Charlotte, Nashville, and Pittsburgh hosted discussions with Martin Klingst, Senior Political Correspondent with DIE ZEIT, about European and German politics. The timing of these events coincided not only with elections across Europe but also emerging political scandals in Austria and Theresa May’s announcement that she would step down as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. It was a fascinating week to discuss European politics. The developing scandal in Austria involving the Vice Chancellor could impact the popularity of right-wing parties in European elections. It is still unclear what will come out of this scandal, both nationally and within the EU. However, these developments have put the Austrian government in a state of...

Development German Delegation Gets Close Look at Tech Transition

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Denes Kuecuek is well aware of the striking similarities between his hometown of Dortmund, Germany, and this city. Both were once industrial giants – Youngstown as the steel-producing behemoth of the Mahoning Valley and Dortmund as a coal and steel center of the Ruhr Valley. Today, both cities are in the midst of a transformation, a notion that wasn’t lost on Kuecuek as he and five other professionals from Germany spent the day exploring how Youngstown is embracing the digital age in preparation for its future. “I think we have the same problems and the same challenges,” Kuecuek said. “It’s interesting to see how you handled these changes.” Kuecuek, the deputy head of Dortmund’s chief information office, noted there’s an initiative underway...

“Germany, Europe and the United States: A strategic partnership facing new challenges?” – Minister Heiko Maas

On April 1, 2019, the American Council on Germany hosted Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas at a discussion and luncheon. Below is the speech delivered by Minister Maas. “It is to any young man’s advantage to have been in America, for then he can claim to have seen and got to know the world, and he knows what to think of people.” Ladies and gentlemen, That sentence is taken from a letter written almost 150 years ago by Isaac Schweitzer. The German-Jewish businessman had emigrated to America and was writing to his family back in Germany. I’m sure none of us here would contradict him. Indeed, where could you find more proof for his claim than here in New York? No other city so completely embodies...

Redefining the Indispensable Relationship – by Dr. Steven E. Sokol

There is no doubt that the transatlantic relationship that has contributed to peace, stability, and prosperity for more than 70 years is at a critical juncture. The United States and Germany have numerous Knackpunkte – sticking points – which include defense spending by NATO member states, tariffs and trade, and climate change. There are also policy differences on how to bring stability to the Middle East, policy toward Russia, and energy – most notably regarding Nord Stream 2. There is a danger that these tensions can create fissures in the relationship, allowing strategic competitors like China and Russia to fill this vacuum. And with Germany and the United States both inwardly focused on a variety of issues, it is harder to address the common challenges in a constructive way. But, just because it...

What Can Dallas Learn from the Germans about Civic Engagement? – By Dr. Steven E. Sokol and Dr. Nina Smidt

In a period of increased polarization in domestic politics, fragmentation of society and social inequity, efforts to adapt and grow to meet myriad challenges of the 21st century should begin at the local level. Germany and the United States face many of the same domestic challenges, and local communities in both countries can learn from each other's approaches to these issues. Most Americans and Germans enjoy an unprecedented standard of living. Nevertheless, many people in both countries believe something is wrong, regardless of income level. Many Germans and Americans feel left behind even though economic indices are generally positive in both countries. This impression is having a serious impact on our societies and cannot simply be reduced to economic angst. There is a sense that our social fabric...
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