Bi-lateral relations, business, climate and other news from Germany and the Embassy
April 13, 2023 View online
GERMANY FOR AMERICANS

Dear Readers,

Finland joined NATO on the 74th anniversary of the Alliance – an event that Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock described as “a day of joy.” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz welcomed the accession, calling it “a win for transatlantic security.” The ratification process is still pending for Sweden, which also has Germany’s unreserved support.

Meanwhile, Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck returned from a trip to Ukraine last week. During his visit, Habeck met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, touring the village of Jahidne, where 300 people were brutally locked up and tortured by Russian occupiers. The Vice Chancellor promised that Germany would keep supporting Ukraine financially and with weapons, ammunition, and reconstruction.

And in other news, President Zelenskyy is receiving special recognition in Germany: the Ukrainian president will be awarded the Charlemagne Prize in Aachen in May. Recipients of the prize are honored for their contributions to the unification of Europe and President Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people have stood for “Europe and European values”. Chancellor Scholz will deliver a keynote speech at the award ceremony.

Yours,

The "Germany for Americans" team

US-GERMAN RELATIONS

Defense Alliance: “Finland’s accession will make NATO stronger”

The Federal Government welcomes Finland's accession to NATO. As of now Finland is a member of the North Atlantic defense alliance. "This is good news and a win for transatlantic security," said Federal Chancellor Scholz.

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NATO as an anchor of security – Foreign Minister Baerbock in Brussels

April 4th is “NATO Day” – the Alliance is celebrating its 74th anniversary

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Vice Chancellor Habeck visits Ukraine

Germany’s Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck travelled to Ukraine with a small delegation of German business representatives. They focused on the reconstruction of Ukraine, which is being attacked by Russia, and cooperation in the energy sector.

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Scholz calls for war crimes in Ukraine to be punished

A year on from the atrocities in the Ukrainian town of Bucha, the German Federal Chancellor warned that the crimes must not remain unpunished.

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Fifty Years of Germany in the United Nations

Germany has been a member of the United Nations for 50 years. Involvement in the United Nations (UN) is a cornerstone of German foreign policy. Germany also works to strengthen the international order based on the Charter of the United Nations.

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Ambassador Haber traveled to Alaska

From April 1-4, German Ambassador Emily Haber traveled to Alaska, where she participated in the Arctic Encounter Symposium, met Lt. Governor Nancy Dahlstrom and Senator Murkowski, entrepreneurs, high school students, and Native Americans. For Haber, Alaska is an important region and partner for US-German cooperation on climate protection and energy. “The Arctic’s importance for the international community cannot be understated – especially as a region of massive ecological change due to global warming”, Ambassador Haber said on Twitter.

Read her tweet thread

ECONOMICS & CLIMATE

Biontech drives forwards cancer research

The German vaccine manufacturer Biontech, which together with Pfizer developed the world’s first approved coronavirus vaccine, made billions in profit once again in 2022 and now intends to further advance the development of therapies to treat conditions such as cancer.

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Coronavirus measures end in Germany

According to German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, the pandemic has come to an end in Germany.

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AI pioneers from Cologne and Heidelberg

The German AI companies DeepL and Aleph Alpha want to set standards worldwide – in translations and with a digital citizen service.

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Green light for 49 Euro Ticket

New deal on regional transport aims to make bus and rail travel in Germany more attractive.

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Massive rise in passenger numbers on buses and trains

Growth of 29 percent compared to 2021 – numbers still below pre-pandemic levels, however.

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Government approves natural climate protection action program

In an effort to promote natural climate protection, plans have been introduced to restore more marshlands and manage forests in a more natural way. The Federal Government has now approved a draft law to this effect.

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EMBASSY NEWS

Press Conference: NATO Air Defender 23

Last week, the German Embassy hosted a press conference where Director of the U.S. Air National Guard Lieutenant General Michael A. Loh, and Chief German Air Force Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz  presented details about the upcoming multinational Air Defender 23 exercise, which will be hosted by Germany in June. In the exercise, dozens of nations will train together in the airspace above Europe, marking the largest deployment exercise of air forces in NATO's history. The large-scale exercise sends a clear signal to the world that the West is united. Nations taking part in the exercise include Germany, the US, France, Poland and the United Kingdom. More than 200 aircraft and ground-based air defense forces will participate and approximately 100 aircraft will come from the US Air National Guard.

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ON A LIGHTER NOTE

German Village Elects Syrian Refugee as Mayor

The southern German village of Ostelsheim has elected Ryyan Alshebl, a Syrian refugee, as its mayor, with an absolute majority of over 55%. The 29-year-old fled his home of Sweida in southern Syria in 2015. He is now responsible for a town of 2,500 people in the state of Baden-Württemberg.

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