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The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a severe global economic crisis. While the current situation in Europe and the United States is different, in an effort to jump-start their economies both the EU and the U.S. are in the process of adopting ambitious stimulus packages. The NextGeneration EU recovery plan is in the process of being ratified by the national parliament of each EU member state. In the U.S., the Biden-Harris administration has proposed major spending programs in the form of the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan.

On May 12, the ACG and Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung hosted a discussion with ACG Chairman Ambassador John B. Emerson and Markus Ferber, Member of the European Parliament Chairman of the Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung; and moderated by economist Megan E. Greene.

With lockdown measures, social distancing requirements, and other restrictions, the hospitality, and gastronomy sectors have been hit hard by the pandemic. How have hotels, restaurants, cafes, and bars navigated the myriad of regulations? How have they adapted to the changing circumstances as the pandemic goes through different phases? How are they positioning themselves for the coming months?

On May 11, the ACG and 1014 hosted a discussion with Nadine and Tom Michelberger who run the Hotel Michelberger in Berlin as a continually evolving family business; Rose Previte who owns and manages “Compass Rose” and “Maydan” in Washington D.C.; as well as Charlotta Janssen who opened the restaurant “Chez Oskar” in Brooklyn, New York, in 2000 to showcase her artwork.

There is no country quite like Russia. Many western observers hoped – or even assumed – that after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia would fall into line. Instead, Russia has charted its own course. Despite its relatively small economy, Russia has been able to exert its global influence through a host of unconventional tactics. Under Vladimir Putin, Russia has demonstrated a surprising willingness to use any tool available to maintain this influence, including cyberattacks, disinformation campaigns, foreign election interference, and support for authoritarian regimes.
On May 6, the ACG and the Freunde des American Council on Germany e.V. hosted a discussion with Russia experts Katja Gloger and Dr. Fiona Hill about Russia, Europe, and the United States.

More than one year into the pandemic, we follow up with thought leaders in the fields of digitalization and AI – Dr. Gesche Joost, Professor for Design Research at the Berlin University of the Arts, and Dr. Mona Sloane of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University – on where things stand when it comes to digitalization and the digital divide. On May 4, the ACG and 1014 hosted a discussion with Dr. Joost and Dr. Sloane on how the pandemic has helped close the gap in some ways and has exacerbated inequalities in other ways.

As the world continues to grapple with the coronavirus crisis, other global challenges abound. Germany and the United States have to tackle simultaneous public health, economic, and social justice crises at home but in all corners of the globe foreign policy challenges are simmering. 2021 has already seen a host of issues – from a confrontational U.S.-China relationship to an increasingly aggressive Russia (in Ukraine and Syria not to mention interfering in western elections); from nuclear tensions with Iran and North Korea to instability in the Middle East and in Latin America; from migration and humanitarian crises to issues like counter-terrorism, cyber-security, and climate.

On May 3, the American Council on Germany, Deutsches Haus at NYU, and NYU’s Center for European and Mediterranean Studies hosted a discussion with Bundestag members Metin Hakverdi (SPD), Gyde Jensen (FDP), and Omid Nouripour (The Greens) regarding Germany’s foreign policy priorities in an election year.

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