Bi-lateral relations, business, climate and other news from Germany and the Embassy
May 24, 2024 View online
GERMANY FOR AMERICANS

Dear Readers,

This month took off with the visit of German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius to the US. In Washington, he honored US service members at Arlington National Cemetery and met US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon to reaffirm the US-German commitment to the bilateral defense relationship and NATO. Defense cooperation between Germany and the US is becoming increasingly important, with benefits for both sides: Germany has ordered nearly $23 billion worth of weapons and equipment for the Bundeswehr. There are about 380 contracts with US defense companies.

Pistorius also highlighted Germany's increased defense investments and growing engagement in the Indo-Pacific region, a topic that remained high on the agenda throughout this month with the launch of the Indo-Pacific Deployment. It’s a military exercise of unprecedented scale, involving the German navy and air force. The German frigate BADEN-WÜRTTEMBERG has just visited New York before continuing to the Indo-Pacific region. Moreover, 20 colleagues from German embassies in Asia and ministries in Berlin traveled to Washington for the first-ever German Indo-Pacific Retreat, meeting with US counterparts and advancing our strategic approach. 

Meanwhile, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock visited Ukraine again, urgently calling for more international support for Ukraine's air defense amid the ongoing Russian offensive and highlighting a nearly billion-euro initiative with German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius for that purpose. 

And this week, we celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift at the Air Force Memorial in Arlington. From June 1948 to September 1949, the airlift delivered 277,569 supply flights, carrying 2.34 million tons. German Ambassador Michaels wrote that “we are forever grateful”.

Yours,

 

The Germany for Americans Team

 

US-GERMAN RELATIONS

German Defense Minister Pistorius visits the US

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius and U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin met at the Pentagon to reaffirm their commitment to the bilateral defense relationship and NATO, discussing the upcoming summit and celebrating 75 years of the alliance. Austin highlighted Germany's significant support for Ukraine, including a $7.7 billion aid package for 2024, military donations, and the acceptance of over 1.1 million Ukrainian refugees. He announced that Germany will buy three HIMARS launchers from U.S. military stocks to support Ukraine. Pistorius also emphasized Germany's contributions to UN missions, increased defense investments, efforts to strengthen NATO and promote peace in the Indo-Pacific. Both leaders highlighted the importance of their nations' alliance and cooperation in addressing global security challenges.

Watch Pistorius' speech

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Read Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s remarks welcoming the German Defense Minister

Germany Ramps up Indo-Pacific Involvement

Germany is significantly stepping up its security engagement in the Indo-Pacific region, as underscored by the 2024 Indo-Pacific Deployment. Earlier this month, two German navy ships set sail for major exercises in the Indo-Pacific region. The ships have just visited New York and will continue to Hawaii to participate in the US-led Rim of the Pacific exercise. They will then continue to the Indo-Pacific, including to help monitor UN sanctions against North Korea. German air force will also participate in exercises in the U.S., Japan, and Australia from June to August. Moreover, on May 15, German officials traveled to DC for the first German Indo-Pacific Retreat, engaging in deep-dives with their US counterparts and advancing our strategic approach."We're working with the US and other partners in the region in order to demonstrate our common goal to preserve and to defend international law and the rules based international order," said Petra Sigmund, Director General for Asia and the Pacific at the start of the retreat.

Watch her statement here

Foreign Minister Baerbock on the situation in Rafah

Similar to her US counterparts, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock continued to express deep concern over the Israeli army's actions in Rafah, emphasizing the importance of protecting civilians and urging a focus on diplomatic efforts for an immediate ceasefire. She emphasized the need for humanitarian aid and long-term solutions to end the conflict, stating, "Without safe places, medicine, food, fuel – the bare essentials needed to live – there will only be fresh suffering and fresh hatred."

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“Putin, in his imperial delusion, sought to grab Ukraine. Instead, he has allied it firmly with Europe.” – Foreign Minister Baerbock visits Ukraine once again

On May 21, Foreign Minister Baerbock arrived in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv for another visit. The Foreign Minister’s trip was meant to reassure her Ukrainian interlocutors that, even in view of the escalating situation in the combat zones, Germany and Europe continue to stand firmly at Ukraine’s side and will not falter in their support. Germany is Ukraine’s second largest supporter, after the US. We have recently launched a global initiative for enhanced air defense for Ukraine. The people of Ukraine can build on our support in the long term, Baerbock said.

Read More here and here

 

Chancellor Scholz and Minister Pistorius Reaffirm Commitment to NATO

Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited German soldiers in Lithuania, assuring NATO partners of his support. He emphasized that deploying a combat-ready brigade is a crucial demonstration of this commitment, stating that Berlin is ready to defend every inch of NATO territory against any threats.

Watch his statement

Meanwhile, German Defense Minister Pistorius traveled to Latvia to visit soldiers serving in enhanced Baltic Air Policing, a critical component of deterrence against Russia. Germany's annual participation in NATO air policing demonstrates our commitment to NATO.

ECONOMY & CLIMATE

More than half of electricity consumption from renewable energies

Renewable energy accounted for 56% of Germany's energy supply in Q1 2024, totaling 75.9 billion kilowatt hours and marking a 9% increase from the same period last year, as per projections by ZSW and BDEW published by the German Press Agency. BDEW Chief Executive Kerstin Andreae emphasized the positive trajectory in renewable energy adoption but stressed the necessity for accelerated efforts to meet Germany's climate objectives.

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Germany Records Big Rise in Foreign Direct Investment in 2023

Foreign direct investment in Germany rose by over 37% last year, based on Germany Trade & Invest's annual FDI study. For comparison, it was up 2.2% worldwide and decreased slightly in Europe. “Our economy currently looks weak, but Germany remains a strong, competitive business location,” Ambassador Michaelis tweeted.

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AWS to Invest $8.5 Billion in German Sovereign Cloud Region by 2040, Boosting Jobs and Digital Transformation

Great news for the German tech ecosystem! Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced plans to invest approximately $8.5 billion (€7.8 billion) in the AWS European Sovereign Cloud region in Brandenburg, Germany, by 2040. This initiative aims to support Europe's need for digital sovereignty, with the first cloud region set to launch by the end of 2025. The investment is expected to drive digital transformation, create 2,800 full-time jobs, and contribute $18.7 billion (€17.2 billion) to Germany's GDP.

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DID YOU KNOW THAT...?

This years marks 75 years of the Basic Law

This week marked the 75th anniversary of Germany's Basic Law, Grundgesetz, which came into effect in 1949. 75 years of the Federal Republic of Germany: a success story of democracy, which placed human dignity and equal rights above all else. This success cannot be taken for granted; a living democracy takes continuous work. The preamble to the Basic Law states that “in a united Europe we serve the peace of the world”. Especially in times when there seems to be an increasing willingness to break with to break rules and trample on human rights, the preamble guides our foreign policy too.

Freedom, peace and democracy are “the most valuable things we have,” said Minister Baerbock in the lead-up to the 75th anniversary celebrations. Cohesion, tolerance and “the common struggle for what we want to be” make society strong. Article 1 reads in part: "Human dignity shall be inviolable." The Grundgesetz has stood the test of time to become the anchor of democracy and rule of law in a unified, democratic German state.

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You can now connect with us on LinkedIN

We're thrilled to unveil our renewed LinkedIn presence! Stay connected with the German Embassy in Washington, D.C., and discover the vibrant economic partnership between Germany and the United States across all 50 states and territories! Stay tuned for updates and posts from our colleagues highlighting their work at the Embassy.

ON A LIGHTER NOTE

Germany manager Nagelsmann: “We will try to win the title”

The European Soccer championship in Germany kicks off in less than a month and we are seriously excited! Head coach Julian Nagelsmann has named a 27-player preliminary squad for EURO 2024, set to begin on June 14 with Germany facing Scotland in Munich. Key players include Ilkay Gündogan, Toni Kroos, Thomas Müller, and Manuel Neuer, with Nagelsmann promising to strive for the title but emphasizing that team performance will be crucial in evaluating their success.

We are installing a larger-than-life-size soccer ball art piece in the Embassy and will be watching the games. Follow us on social media @germanyinusa to see how we'll be gathering (and hopefully celebrating)!

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Looking back at EU Open House

The German and French Embassies were delighted to welcome thousands of guests during our annual EU Open House on May 11 to experience the perfect weather and immerse themselves in a fusion of German and French delights — from cuisine to music, culture, and engaging activities for all ages. Chocolat, bier, music, culture and new friends — every moment was filled with joy and celebration!

Watch a video recap

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