On Sunday, 14 March 2021, Germany held state elections in the western Länder of Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate. Although the states are relatively small – with roughly 7.7 million and 3.1 eligible voters, respectively – these elections mark the beginning of Germany’s Superwahljahr, which will culminate with federal elections in late September and the formation of a new government with a new Chancellor for the first time in 16 years.
The day after the state elections, March 15, the ACG hosted a discussion on the results and Germany’s party landscape in an election year from Politics Editor for ZEIT ONLINE Katharina Schuler, and Florian Naumann, Team Leader and Editor in the Politics Department of Merkur.de.
On March 11, the American Council on Germany and the Denver Council on Foreign Relations hosted an evening discussion with Ricklef Beutin, the Deputy Chief of Mission for the German Embassy in Washington, DC.
The American Council on Germany and the Aspen Institute Germany have launched a virtual event series to provide a platform for subnational exchange and in-depth discussions amongst German and American state legislators on common transatlantic challenges. On March 10, Assemblymember Marc Berman (D), California State Assembly; Daniel Karrais, MdL (FDP), State Parliament of Baden-Württemberg; and Katharina Schulze, MdL (Alliance 90/The Greens), State Parliament of Bavaria discussed both opportunities and challenges that come with an increasingly digitized democracy and shared their own experiences and visions for a digital future.
2020 was an inflection point for the gig economy and the digital fabric of commerce and business. Companies had to adapt to new ways of working in order to stay afloat during the pandemic. Using artificial intelligence, diversifying employment models from full-time jobs to gigworkers and crowdsourcing, and moving to flexwork and hybrid workplaces are all part of the toolbox. On March 9, the American Council on Germany and 1014 hosted a discussion on the future of work with Thorben Albrecht, Policy Director of IG Metall and former Permanent State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, and Jeff Schwartz, Principal and U.S. Leader for the Future of Work at Deloitte Consulting LLP, and author of Work Disrupted: Opportunity, Resilience, and Growth in the Accelerated Future of Work (2021).
The debate over differences in U.S. and European speech rights is a perennial issue. But, the emergence of private social media platforms – and their dominance – has given the issue a new dimension and a new sense of urgency.
On March 8, the American Council on Germany, the Max Planck Law Network, and the Robert Bosch Foundation Alumni Association hosted a discussion with Prof. Dr. Ralf Poscher, Director at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law, in Freiburg, Germany, and Nadine Strossen, John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law at New York Law School. The discussion was moderated by Russell Miller, Senior Research Fellow and Head of the Max Planck Law Network and J.B. Stombock Professor of Law at Washington and Lee University.