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On both sides of the Atlantic, popular confidence in political institutions has fallen and voters are increasingly disenchanted with mainstream political parties. In the United States, political polarization is at an all-time high, and in Europe political splintering is weakening long-established parties. Additionally, citizens are unable to determine which news sources are trustworthy and are increasingly influenced by fake news and conspiracy theories promulgated by both domestic and foreign actors (namely China and Russia). What are some of the causes of these trends and what can be done to address them?

On July 13, the ACG, World Affairs Council of America, and Atlantik-Bruecke hosted a discussion with Anne Applebaum, Staff Writer, The Atlantic in discussion with Dr. David Deissner, Executive Director, Atlantik-Brücke. This discussion is part of 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.

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. On July 12, Dr. Steven Sokol spoke with Luisa Beck, European Reporter for the Washington Post’s Berlin Bureau.

Each week, the ACG hosts a Kaffeepause, or coffee break, with a journalist to discuss the latest developments in Berlin. On June, 28 the ACG spoke with Malte Lehming who is an editor and writer for the Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel.

On June 25 the American Council on Germany and Atlantik-Brücke hosted a fireside chat with Ambassador Victoria Nuland, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. The conversation was moderated by ACG Chairman Ambassador John B. Emerson and AB Chairman Sigmar Gabriel.

The American Council on Germany and the Aspen Institute Germany hosted the fourth event in our virtual event series State-to-State: German-American State Legislator Dialogue bringing together state legislators to discuss how subnational actors have to step up to address common transatlantic challenges. On June 23, Ellen Demuth (CDU), Member of the State Parliament of Rhineland-Palatinate; Philipp da Cunha (SPD), Member of State Parliament of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania; Senator Teresa Ruiz (D), New Jersey State Senat; and Senator Jerry Sonnenberg (R), Colorado State Senate, discussed the rural-urban divide in terms of infrastructure in their states and efforts being undertaken to expand traditional infrastructure (buildings, water systems and transportation), broadband internet, and health care.

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