Bi-lateral relations, business, climate and other news from Germany and the Embassy
March 28, 2024 View online
GERMANY FOR AMERICANS

Dear Readers,

We kicked off this month with Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck’s visit to the US. On his agenda: strengthening bilateral trade and investment relations in the long term and promoting transatlantic cooperation on future technologies. During bilateral meetings, both sides emphasized that the geopolitical situation requires the US and Germany to work closely together, politically and economically. The Vice Chancellor also met with German companies operating in the US, which highlighted the many ways in which the US and German economies benefit one another.

Examples of such win-win cooperation can also be found in South Carolina, which Ambassador Michaelis visited in March. There are over 200 German companies in South Carolina alone, employing around 40,000 Americans – a testament to the strong economic ties between our nations.

Returning to the world stage, the US and Germany continued to work closely together on many of the most important challenges of our time – from Russia’s war against Ukraine to the crisis in the Middle East. Both the EU and Germany announced significant new support packages for Ukraine this month.

Meanwhile, Chancellor Scholz and Foreign Minister Baerbock again visited the Middle East to reaffirm Germany’s support for Israel, while emphasizing that “you cannot combat terror by military means alone”. On March 16, Germany began humanitarian airdrops over the Gaza strip to assist civilians in need.

On a lighter note, Berlin’s techno scene was officially named part of Germany’s intangible cultural heritage list – and the German men’s national soccer team explained why they’re now wearing pink!

Yours
The Germany for Americans Team

US-GERMAN RELATIONS

German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck visits the US: Push for transatlantic trade and space exploration

In early March, Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck visited Washington, New York and Chicago. In talks with the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of Energy in DC, Habeck sought to strengthen bilateral trade and investment relations in the long term, and to promote transatlantic cooperation on future technologies. Both sides emphasized that the geopolitical situation requires the US and Germany to work closely together, both politically and economically. Habeck also met with German companies operating in the US, which highlighted the many ways in which the US and German economies can benefit one another. The Vice Chancellor was accompanied by German astronauts Alexander Gerst and Matthias Maurer. Together, they advocated for Germany to become a part of NASA’s Artemis missions, which aims to return humans to the Moon.

Read more here and here or watch here

EU leaders agree to massively increase support for Ukraine

At a recent meeting in Brussels, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and other EU leaders agreed to provide additional military aid to Ukraine to bolster its defense against Russian aggression. The European Council also decided to use windfall profits from frozen Russian assets for buying ammunition and weapons. Scholz highlighted Germany's substantial support as Ukraine’s second largest military donor after the US and suggested that other EU member states could also consider increasing their military assistance.

Read more here or here

For an overview of EU support to Ukraine, go here 

Germany announces new support package for Ukraine

At the latest meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group in Ramstein, Germany, Defense Minister Pistorius announced a new €500 million military aid package to replenish Ukraine’s urgently needed artillery stocks. The package includes 10,000 rounds of ammunition from Bundeswehr stocks available immediately and an additional 100,000 artillery shells to be ordered.  Meanwhile, Chancellor Olaf Scholz reaffirmed Germany's unwavering support for Ukraine in a speech to the Bundestag. He reiterated that President Putin was wrong to assume that Germany would reduce its support, and also made clear that Germany would not agree to a peace imposed on Ukraine.

Read more here

Chancellor Scholz and Foreign Minister Baerbock visit the Middle East again: “You cannot combat terror by military means alone”

In his second trip to the region since the Hamas attack on Israel, Chancellor Olaf Scholz expressed concerns about the escalating situation since his last visit. He reiterated Germany’s support for Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas and called for the release of all hostages, while stressing the urgent need for humanitarian aid and a ceasefire. “You cannot combat terror by military means alone,” Scholz said. Shortly thereafter, Minister Baerbock made her seventh trip to the region since October 7. She stressed that “only an immediate humanitarian pause leading to a sustainable ceasefire will keep the hope of peace alive.”

For months, Germany and partners such as the US have been deploying every diplomatic means at their disposal to bring about a humanitarian pause to prevent even more people from dying in Gaza and to secure the release of the hostages. Since March 16, Germany has also been air-dropping essential aid to the many people of Gaza in need of assistance.

Read more about the visit of Chancellor Scholz and of Foreign Minister Baerbock

For more information on Germany’s air-drop operations, read this or watch this

Germany celebrates first anniversary of its Feminist Foreign Policy

Societies are more equal and prosperous when everyone can play an equal part in political, social and economic life. One year ago, Germany therefore adopted guidelines for a Feminist Foreign Policy that aim to promote global equality and empower marginalized groups. The guidelines provide direction for Foreign Office staff in various areas of foreign policy, emphasizing women's rights and representation, and addressing intersectional and gender-specific risks. Ahead of International Women's Day, our Embassy looked back on a year of Germany's Feminist Foreign Policy with an open discussion on its impact on policymaking today and what remains to be done to further improve women's rights.

Read more about the guidelines for Feminist Foreign Policy

ECONOMY & CLIMATE

Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue explores ways to drive global energy transition forward

The 10th Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue (BETD) highlighted the central role of renewable energy and green hydrogen in shaping future markets and enhancing global security in a changing world. The Dialogue is the central energy transition platform for dialogue between governments, business and civil society. This year’s edition took off where the COP28 in Dubai had left, with the international community agreeing to triple renewable energy capacity globally by 2030. Discussions in Berlin focused on financing strategies, coal phase-out initiatives, industrial decarbonization and sustainability promotion.

Learn more about this year’s Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue here or here

German Ambassador Andreas Michaelis visits South Carolina and BMW’s Spartanburg plant

Ambassador Andreas Michaelis visited South Carolina this month to explore the state’s vibrant landscape of US-German cooperation. There are over 200 German companies in South Carolina alone, employing around 40,000 Americans – a testament to the strong economic bonds between our nations. A highlight of his trip was the visit to the BMW plant in Spartanburg. The plant is as an outstanding example of German investment in the USA: It has created 11,000 jobs on-site and assembles approximately 1,500 vehicles per day. Additionally, BMW USA is investing around $1.7 billion in South Carolina to prepare for the future of electric vehicles.

Read more here

US-German cooperation on autonomous shuttles

It’s a stereotype – and true: Germans are good in hardware, Americans in software. When we team up, it’s a win-win for both sides. One example is the successful cooperation between Holon, a start-up owned by the German company Benteler, and Beep, a US company. Together, they work on an autonomous shuttle project in Jacksonville, Florida, which would be the most extensive public-sector deployment of autonomous vehicles in the US to date.

Learn more about the autonomous shuttle project

Boom in AI patents in Germany

According to a recent analysis by the German Patent and Trade Mark Office, there has been a significant increase in AI patent applications in Germany. This has positioned the country as second only to the US in this field for the German market. Notably, German companies and research institutions contributed 17.1% of the published applications in 2023, which represents a 40% increase compared to 2019. Germany is also aiming to become a global leader in AI in other areas. In 2023, there were 508 startups specializing in AI in Germany. 208 degree programs on AI are offered at German universities and universities of applied sciences.

Read more here or here

DID YOU KNOW...

… that Germany is represented across the US, with 8 general consuls and 40 honorary consuls?

Germany is privileged to have a tight knit network of 8 Consul Generals and 40 Honorary Consuls throughout the United States. Honorary Consuls provide consular services, represent Germany, and foster the people-to-people ties that underpin the robust U.S.-German partnership – in areas from business to education and research.

From the sidelines of this year's reunion of German Consuls in Washington, we asked some of them to name examples of win-win cooperation between Germany and the US – and to tell us what’s stereotypically “German” about them.

Watch their answers here and here

… that if you’re German and living in the US, you may register to vote at the European Parliament’s elections in June?

On June 9, 2024, Europeans will elect Members of the European Parliament. Germans living outside of Germany, who have reached the age of 16 and no longer have a residence in the federal territory, can participate in the election if they meet certain requirements. We encourage all eligible voters to take part in the upcoming elections and make their voices heard!

For more information and access to application forms, please visit our website.

ON A LIGHTER NOTE

Berlin’s famous techno scene is now part of Germany's intangible cultural heritage

For many years, Berlin’s techno culture has stood for values such as diversity, respect and cosmopolitanism. Now it has been added to Germany’s list of intangible cultural heritage! Lutz Leichsenring of Clubcommission Berlin sees this as a pivotal moment for the city's techno community, emphasizing its role in preserving and advancing club culture. The initiative to include techno culture was led by the non-profit organization Rave the Planet, co-headed by Love Parade co-founder Matthias Roeingh, also known as Dr. Motte.

Read more here

Germany's national soccer team goes pink

This year, Germany will host the men’s European Soccer Championship- the first time in reunified Germany! The away jersey of the German national soccer team features pink-violet tones for the first time. The colorful shirts are intended to symbolize a new generation of German football fans and the diversity of the country, according to the sportswear manufacturer Adidas. But not everybody has been a fan of pink – with some commenting “it had nothing to do with Germany” or “the color is ridiculous”. The national team reciprocated with this video.

Watch here

A publication of the German Embassy in Washington, D.C.

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