Bi-lateral relations, business, climate and other news from Germany and the Embassy
June 21, 2023 View online

Dear Readers,

Germany is hosting the biggest air exercise in NATO history, called Air Defender 23. Taking place from June 12 to 23, the exercise involves 25 countries, including the US. 10,000 personnel and around 250 aircraft stationed across six military bases are engaging in crisis training scenarios in northern and southern Germany. 

The exercise is a “strong display of Germany’s commitment, the strength of our transatlantic bond and NATO’s readiness to defend every inch of Allied territory and airspace”, said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Twitter. During a visit to Jagel Air Base in Germany, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz observed the exercises and said that the cooperation within the NATO alliance sends a “great message” that is particularly important during these times. 

Meanwhile, the German government released its new National Security Strategy last week. It spells out the consequences of the „Zeitenwende“, which has shown the urgency of rethinking our security. The strategy reaffirms an average 2% of GDP will be allocated for defense – as finance minister Lindner added, the aim is to achieve the 2% as early as next year. Moreover, it means sustained support for Ukraine and realism on China.

In other news, German Embassy diplomats and staff marched in this year’s Capital Pride Parade in Washington, D.C., an annual event that draws hundreds of thousands of spectators. Together with over 150 colleagues from the EU Delegation and EU member states, Embassy staff stood up for human rights and the LGBTQI+ community. 

And finally, we’re getting ready to say goodbye to German Ambassador Emily Haber, who has served in Washington since June 2018. Our next edition of “Germany for Americans” will include a few of her messages and reflections on her past 5 years in the US capital.


The "Germany for Americans" team



Air Defender 2023

Things are crowded in the sky above Germany: soldiers from 25 nations are spending two weeks practicing joint air operations with 250 planes and helicopters. “Air Defender 23” is the biggest air force relocation exercise since NATO was established. The German Air Force has taken the lead in the maneuver. The US Air National Guard provides the majority of the aircraft.

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National Security Strategy adopted

The Federal Government is responding to the challenges of an increasingly unstable world order by means of a “policy of integrated security”. The roadmap for this will be provided by the new National Security Strategy, says Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz in a foreword to the strategy adopted by the Federal Cabinet. “Its objective is clear: to maintain the security of citizens and make our contribution to the security of Europe.”

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Tweet Thread

Ukraine Recovery Conference in London: Real peace needs reconstruction

Foreign Minister Baerbock and Development Minister Schulze are representing the German Government at the Ukraine Recovery Conference (URC) in London. „We continue to support Ukraine financially, politically and with weapons. We want Ukraine to win this war - and to win peace.“, Minister Baerbock said at the conference. It is focused on mobilizing private investment for reconstruction, and German companies are on hand at the event as well.

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Germany pledges one billion euros in aid for Syria

At a donor conference in Brussels, the international community pledged 5.6 billion euros in aid to help the people of Syria.

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Honoring World Refugee Day

Germany has taken in 2.1 million refugees and asylum seekers, making it the world's fourth-largest refugee-receiving country. And Germany is UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency's second-largest donor, providing 499 million euros in 2022. People fleeing violence, conflicts and human rights violations need protection and support.

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Germany, Intel sign deal for chip factory in Magdeburg

The German government will subsidize the US tech firm's plans to construct computer chip and semiconductor facilities in Magdeburg.  German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called Intel's investment in the facilities the biggest direct foreign investment in German history.

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Energy transition as an opportunity for employment and growth

How can the shift towards climate neutrality be realized successfully? How can it be accelerated? And how can Germany safeguard its prosperity? Federal Chancellor Scholz invited representatives of the private sector, academia and civil society to discuss these questions with the Federal Government.

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Billions more for railway development

Railway infrastructure is not just a way of providing energy-efficient transport. It is also a key component in achieving climate protection goals. The Federal Government has started the process of changing the law in order to increase the performance of the railways.

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Drömling designated as 17th German UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

The area between the federal states of Saxony-Anhalt and Lower Saxony is to be a model region for sustainable development.

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Campaigning for sustainable development in the Amazon

Combating the climate crisis was a key priority for the visit by Germany’s Federal Foreign Minister Baerbock and Labour Minister Heil to the Amazon region of Brazil.

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The German Embassy participates in the Capital Pride Parade

On June 10, diplomats and staff from the German Embassy marched in the 2023 Capital Pride Parade, together with over 150 colleagues from the EU Delegation and member states. German Embassy diplomats and staff had a great time showing our support for human rights for the LGBTQI+ community in Washington, D.C. Germany firmly believes in the value and dignity of all. The Embassy supports LGBT Pride: human rights apply to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or race.


Promoting acknowledgement, confidence and participation through sports

Germany is hosting the Special Olympic World Games for the first time, the world’s biggest sporting event for people with mental and multiple disabilities. From June 17 to 25, 7,000 athletes from over 180 countries are coming together in Berlin and the surrounding region to compete for medals in 26 disciplines. The Special Olympics hopes to change attitudes towards disabilities. Participating athletes are inspiring people the world over, including sporting giants like Dirk Nowitzki and Lewis Hamilton.

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