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Geopolitical challenges continue to confront the transatlantic alliance ranging from Russia’s continued aggression in Ukraine to China’s military build-up and pressure on Taiwan to President Biden’s decision to remove American troops from Afghanistan by September of this year to cyber threats from adversaries around the world.

On July 20, the ACG and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung USA hosted a discussion on transatlantic security and defense with Dr. Jana Puglierin, Head of the Berlin Office and Senior Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR); Dr. Torrey Taussig, Research Director for the Project on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship, Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center; Nonresident Fellow, Brookings Institution’s Center on the United States and Europe; and moderated by Lauren M. Speranza, Director of Transatlantic Defense and Security, Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA).

Within hours of taking office, President Biden brought the United States back to the Paris Climate Agreement. The new administration has also taken steps to return to the Iran nuclear deal, de-escalate transatlantic trade tensions, and committed more U.S. troops in Germany. Nevertheless, there are contentious issues where Europe and the United States do not see eye to eye. Join us for a discussion about the areas of collaboration – and also the sticking points – between Washington and Europe six months in to the new administration.

On July 19, the American Council on Germany and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung USA hosted a virtual discussion on the state of German-American relations. Ambassador Emily Haber, German Ambassador to the United States, delivered an opening statement; followed by a panel discussion with Peter Beyer, Member of the German Bundestag (CDU) and Coordinator of Transatlantic Cooperation in the Federal Foreign Office; and Molly Montgomery, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, U.S. Department of State

Each week, the ACG hosts a discussion with a journalist based in Germany on the topics making the headlines and shaping political discourse in Berlin. Following Chancellor Angela Merkel visit to the United States to meet with President Joseph Biden, the ACG shifted the discussion from Berlin to Washington, DC. On July 19, the ACG discussed Merkel’s visit and the catastrophic flooding in Germany with Handelsblatt U.S. Correspondent Annett Meiritz.

In order for democracies to function effectively, citizens need transparent access to accurate information based on facts. Democratic institutions are being undermined by a proliferation of disinformation which creates chaos, division, and distrust. In many cases, citizens seem to live in parallel universes in which people believe in a completely different set of facts and live in different realities. What can be done to combat misinformation and help guarantee access to truthful, fact-based information?

On July 14, Nina Jankowicz, Global Fellow at the Wilson Center and Author of How to Lose the Information War; Prof. Dr. Hanna Klimpe, Professor of Social Media and Commissioner for Equity, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences; and Andrea Shalal, Senior Correspondent with Reuters, discussed the impact of disinformation on politics and society with This discussion is the final event in the series “Democracy on the Brink? Challenges to Democracy in Germany, Europe, and the United States and How to Confront Them” which is held under the auspices of Wunderbar Together 2021 and in partnership with the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA) and Atlantik-Brücke.

Democracy is under attack. Rising populism, waning trust in democratic institutions and practices, and a period of unprecedented uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic have strained democratic institutions. On Monday, July 12, 2021, WACA hosted Jan-Werner Müller to discuss his new book, “Democracy Rules,” which suggests that we need to re-invigorate the intermediary institutions that have been deemed essential for democracy’s success: political parties and free media. WACA President and CEO Bill Clifford moderates the conversation. This program took place under the auspices of Wunderbar Together 2021, the World Affairs Councils of America, the American Council on Germany, and Atlantik-Brücke who partnered with World Affairs Councils across the country for a series of virtual events focused on challenges to democracy in Germany, Europe, and the U.S. The experts discuss the causes of this democratic malaise, analyze how serious these threats are, and examine what can be done to push back against those pressures – with a view to the exploration of how Europe and the U.S. can better collaborate on these issues.

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