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Policy Engagement

Through a range of events and activities, the American Council on Germany exposes a broad audience to economic, political, and social issues of common concern on both sides of the Atlantic. The ACG hosts regular policy discussions in New York City and at its Eric M. Warburg Chapters across the country. It also drills down on critical issues through policy conferences and seminars.

The ACG works across sectors and generations to provide the business community, policymakers, journalists, and academics along the East Coast and across the country with deep and nuanced insights concerning the developments in Germany, Europe, and around the world – and how they impact the transatlantic partnership. Through a variety of policy discussions, the ACG ensures that critical issues and common challenges are high on the agenda.

Events outside of New York City have served the dual purpose of exposing the local business, diplomatic, professional, and academic communities to the important topics of the day while simultaneously introducing high-level speakers from the German government and business to the American corporate, government, academic, and media communities beyond the East Coast.

Find out more about our New York policy discussions and policy conferences. To read more about the ACG’s national reach, see our Warburg Chapters. The ACG also offers fellowships and leadership missions to practitioners so that they can connect with their peers and analyze best practices.

Crafting a New Transatlantic Narrative

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Since its earliest days, the ACG has played a critical role in helping to shape the transatlantic agenda by convening key opinion leaders and decision-makers and addressing complex timely topics for better mutual understanding. During most of the ACG’s history, the transatlantic narrative has been one of very close economic, political, and security cooperation and the promotion of shared values, including free markets, democracy, and the rule of law. Indeed, ACG founding Chairman John J. McCloy helped lay the foundation for our common values and our shared agenda after a devastating war. This foundation remains in place today. At the 2016 Munich Security Conference, Vice President Joe Biden said that “Europe is the cornerstone of our engagement with the rest of the world and is the catalyst for our global cooperation.”

However, during this time of global tumult and significant challenges, the strength and resilience of transatlantic relations are being tested. German Ambassador to the United States Peter Wittig issued a call before the ACG in December 2015 to help craft a new transatlantic narrative to underscore German-American ties and the value of cooperation and close coordination. At the joint ACG/Atlantik‐Brücke conference “Toward a New Transatlantic Narrative: The German-American Partnership in Turbulent Times” in May 2016, Ambassador Wittig renewed this call. He told those gathered that “The way transatlantic relations are viewed in our two societies, what we expect from each other is changing – and, on this level, we seem to be moving apart rather than together.”

As we mark our 65th anniversary and look to the next decade, the ACG is committed not only to continuing its important work and countering any tendencies to move apart; it is also dedicated to honing a new narrative for the German-American relationship – one that compels us to build on our past cooperation through new perspectives and innovative approaches.

The ACG’s programs and activities play a critical role in shaping this new transatlantic narrative and translating it into action. Indeed, all of the ACG’s members and program participants are a part of this narrative. Among the ties that connect us in this new narrative are shared goals such as the following:

  • furthering growth and innovation, including digitization and harnessing synergies;
  • utilizing soft power efficiently, including addressing inequality;
  • ensuring open societies with close ties across borders;
  • promoting green issues, including but not limited to sustainability;
  • ensuring security in its many forms; and
  • informing the public and countering rhetoric that perpetuates misconceptions about trade; NATO; rising nationalism, isolationism, and xenophobia; and fear among youths.