This year’s Symposium is framed around the idea of “A New Transatlantic Generation.” We know that German-American relations have long been shaped by the personal connections that were established after World War II and held firm throughout the Cold War. Since reunification, however, there has been a rapid drawdown of the American troop presence in Europe and the United States has shifted its focus to other parts of the world. Funding for long-standing transatlantic exchanges has also been decreased and, just this past year, the U.S. government was close to cutting half of the funding for the Congressional Bundestag Exchange Program for young leaders, a mainstay of the German-American partnership.
At the same time, it is abundantly clear that the experiences and ideas of the younger generation will determine the trajectory of transatlantic relations in the twenty-first century. Their preferences will shape domestic politics as much as international politics. Their decisions will determine how the world responds to a multitude of emerging crises. Their innovations will be the driving force for our respective societies. The contributions of young educators, journalists, politicians, scientists, and other experts is vital for maintaining and strengthening the bond between Germany and the United States.
This collection of essays is not meant to be representative of the views of the “Millennial” generation, but each author presents her or his own serious critique of a pressing issue for the upcoming transatlantic generation and their suggestions for the way forward. This volume features essays from Matthias Matthijs on the need for German leadership, Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln on the response to the euro crisis, David Livingston on the future of the carbon-based economy, Henriette Rytz on Germany becoming a “country of immigration,” Parke Nicholson on the global response to jihadist terrorism, Jessica Riester Hart on the current state of immigration policy, Tim Maurer on international cooperation on cyber security, and Kirsten Verclas on energy efficiency as a key to addressing climate change.
AICGS looks at the challenges and the choices facing Germany and the United States as this young generation shapes how both countries deal with common problems and find solutions. The Institute attempts to evaluate the consequences of their preferences and choices and to what extent we can learn from each other. This Policy Report and Symposium address the future of the German-American relationship, and represent an illustration of how we can contribute to a better understanding of both countries, their priorities and policies, and the impact they will continue to have on each other in the decades to come.