Bi-lateral relations, business, climate and other news from Germany and the Embassy
May 25, 2023 View online

Dear Readers,

Ukrainian President Zelensky's first official visit to Germany since the Russian brutal invasion was met with a pledge of increased military support by Germany. During Zelensky's visit to Berlin, Chancellor Scholz announced a significant military aid package exceeding 2.7 billion euros. He reaffirmed Germany’s commitment to supporting Ukraine for “as long as it takes.” The aid package includes additional battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, air defense systems, and more.

During his visit to Germany, President Zelensky and the Ukrainian people were also honored by receiving the prestigious Charlemagne Prize in Aachen. The award recognizes their unwavering dedication to defending not only Ukraine's sovereignty and citizens' lives but also Europe and its fundamental values.

The G7 summit in Japan this month was also attended by President Zelensky. Chancellor Scholz joined President Biden and other leaders in expressing unanimous solidarity with Ukraine and continued engagement of G7. The G7 nations also aimed to reduce economic dependency on China at the summit.

Meanwhile, this week marked 75 years since the enactment of Germany’s Basic Law, or the “Grundgesetz”, which laid the foundation for a thriving democracy. The Basic Law placed paramount importance on human dignity and equal rights. It is celebrated as the birthday of the Federal Republic of Germany, highlighting the success story of democracy that the Basic Law represents. Section 1 of the Basic Law, outlining the people's rights and freedoms, starts with Article 1, proclaiming the inviolability of human dignity and the responsibility of all state authorities to respect and protect it.

And finally, this week we are celebrating the 140th anniversary of the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. This iconic New York landmark was opened on May 24, 1883. The bridge's visionary design was the work of German immigrant John Augustus Roebling, with assistance from members of his family. The construction of the bridge also saw the invaluable contributions of skilled German immigrant workers, highlighting their significant role in shaping the city's development. The completion of the Brooklyn Bridge stands as a remarkable milestone in the enduring legacy of German-American contributions to New York City.


The "Germany for Americans" team



Chancellor Scholz welcomes Ukrainian President Zelensky

Ukrainian President Zelensky visited Germany for the first time since the Russian invasion. Federal Chancellor Scholz promised Zelensky more military aid during his visit to Berlin. The Federal Government has introduced a new military support package worth over 2.7 billion euros for this purpose. “We will continue to support you for as long as it takes”, Scholz said. The new support package is the largest military aid package yet and includes 30 more Leopard-1 battle tanks, 20 Marder infantry fighting vehicles, IRIS-T  air defense systems and more.

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Furthermore, on his visit to Germany, Zelensky and the Ukrainian people received the Charlemagne Prize, awarding their fighting to defend not only the sovereignty of Ukraine and the lives of its citizens, but also Europe and European values.

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G7 summit: G7 states want to reduce economic dependence on China

Relations with China were a key topic at the G7 summit in Japan this weekend. In a strong summit communiqué, the group said that it wanted to consistently reduce its economic dependencies on China and lower the risks in supply chains. Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz noted that the G7 states were no longer using the word decoupling anymore, though. Together, the G7 nations want to de-risk their relations with China.

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Chancellor Scholz on Europe and the international order in the run-up to the G7 summit

At the Global Solutions Summit in Berlin, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz emphasized that the world now was multi-polar and demanded a more inclusive and balanced international order. His particular focus was on countries of the Global South, with which he seeks to encourage cooperation.

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At a speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Scholz further expressed that Europe bears a global responsibility and must turn its attention to the rest of the world. “What we need,” he said, “is a geopolitical, expanded, reformed European Union and, not at least, a European Union that is open to the future.”

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Ambassador Haber receives 2023 History, Heroes & Hope award at the Ball of the Mall

German Ambassador Emily Haber was honored with the 2023 History, Heroes & Hope Award at "Ball for the Mall" for her commitment to the German-American Friendship Garden and its recent restoration. The garden is located between the White House and the Washington Monument in Washington, DC. Dedicated in 1988, it commemorates 300 years of German immigration to the US. President Ronald Reagan called it a "magnificent symbol of the bonds that tie our two great peoples together." Additionally, the Ambassador received the Leadership Award by the German American Business Council.

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Accommodating Ukrainian refugees: An example of close cooperation by German federalism

Over a million Ukrainian refugees and many more from other countries have currently found protection in Germany. All levels of government, the federal, the states, and local municipalities, currently work together to master the major challenge to provide rapid, unbureaucratic aid to people in need.

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Youth Policy Conference on environment, climate protection, media and democracy

Climate change and education were some of the topics that Chancellor Scholz discussed with some 1000 young people at the  "JugendPolitikTage" event (Youth Politics Days) .

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Ambassador Haber holds talks at US Congress to further climate cooperation

Ambassador Haber actively engages in meaningful discussions with members of the US Congress to address critical matters pertaining to our transatlantic relations, particularly in the realm of climate change. Notably, she recently held separate meetings with Senator Kevin Kramer (Rep., North Dakota) and Representative Kathy Castor (Dem., Tampa Bay, FL) to delve into strategies aimed at curtailing carbon emissions. The meeting with Senator Kramer centered on exploring avenues to enhance the transatlantic partnership through collaborative efforts to reduce carbon emissions. On the other hand, Ambassador Haber's discussion with Representative Castor focused on the reduction of emissions within the industrial sector and expediting the transition to renewable energy sources. Throughout these engagements, Ambassador Haber expressed her unwavering belief in the potential for the United States and Germany to assume leadership roles in climate protection.


EU Open House 2023: 7,000 guests coming to Germany and France at the French Embassy

On May 13, the European Embassies opened their doors to the public for a day of culture, food, music and more. Every year we team up with our friends from the French Embassy to co-host at one our Embassies. More than 7,000 guests came to eat "Bratwurst", French cheese, listen to music and get to know Germany and France. Normally you would have to cross an ocean to visit our two countries, but at EU Open House, the American public found us right in Washington, DC!  

German Ambassador Emily Haber, French Ambassador Laurent Bili and EU Ambassador Stavros Lambrinidis also enjoyed part of the afternoon together at the French Embassy, where they met visitors and volunteers, danced to German music, sampled German and French cuisine, shared in each others’ culture and listened to music. The German and French Ambassadors also partook in a cake cutting ceremony celebrating 60 years of the Elysée Treaty.


The Brooklyn Bridge turns 140!

The 140th anniversary of the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge on May 24 marks a significant milestone in the German-American contribution to this iconic landmark. German immigrant John Augustus Roebling, the original bridge designer, infused his engineering expertise and German craftsmanship into its construction. After Roebling's untimely death during the bridge's early stages, his sons, Washington and Ferdinand Roebling, continued their father's work. They oversaw the bridge's construction, employing the engineering knowledge and techniques learned from their father. Skilled German immigrant workers were involved in various aspects, such as ironwork, masonry, carpentry, and stonecutting.

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