In times of dramatic change, we shape common perspectives for the shared global challenges of the Atlantic Community. Through pragmatic, diverse, and honest dialogue between actors of the civil society, we equip the transatlantic bond for the future.
Atlantic Community: Encouraging wide, open and solution-oriented dialogue on the common challenges faced by the transatlantic partners.
Atlantic Community: encouraging open dialogue on the challenges facing Europe and North America
The politics and economies of the transatlantic community are constantly changing. As the first online foreign policy think tank, we value the importance of rich, diverse discussion and hope to facilitate the exchange of ideas and discussions between transatlantic partners.
It is over. Donald Trump has lost. After four years of chaos, the self-declared saviour of America failed to convince the voters in key states such as Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania to grant him another term. Their choice will have a significant impact on German-American relations. President-elect Joe Biden campaigned on nothing less than restoring the soul of the American nation.The new administration faces a raging pandemic and a troubled economy, much like the rest of the world. Nevertheless, Biden’s foreign policy will be substantially different from Trump’s. After years of troubled relations with one of America’s most important allies, Biden will have to try to re-engage with Germany. Berlin ought to be prepared.read more
Recent calls from German policymakers and think-tankers for a public security policy debate indicate the importance of discourse for security policy. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Discourse – or how we talk about things – exerts significant power over security policy decision-making; setting the framework for how we define good and evil, identify threats, and which policy options are legitimate (or even thinkable) means of confronting them. Just how powerful discourse can be is demonstrated by Dr. Frank Stengel’s latest analysis on ideational change in German security policy. The concise, well-structured work introduces a novel analytical approach, combining post-structuralist, feminist and post-colonial discourse theory, providing much needed insights into Germany’s often contradictory relationship with the use of military force.read more
November 2020, US-Präsidentschaftswahlen. Die ganze Welt blickt auf die USA, so auch wir in Deutschland. „Wie geht es weiter mit der atlantischen Gemeinschaft?“, fragen sich einige. Für viele ist klar, dass es nur besser werden kann, wenn Trump aus dem Amt gewählt wird. Zu lange, so denken viele, wurde im Weißen Haus gelogen, betrogen und respektlos mit der Welt – einschließlich Amerikas Partnern – umgegangen. Unzählige Zeitungen malen sich aus, wie die USA bis 2024 wohl aussehen würden. In den Projektionen schwingt eine klare Nachricht mit: Wir erwarten mehr von den USA. Viele in Deutschland sind enttäuscht von einem Land, das aber gleichzeitig noch immer viele Sehnsüchte zu wecken scheint. Da stellt sich die Frage, was wir eigentlich von den USA wollen?read more
It took dramatic events for Belarus, one of the least-known among European countries, to draw international attention. For some three weeks now, the country has seen a standoff between the dictatorial regime of Alyaksandr Lukashenka and Belarusian society, determined...read more
My Uncle ‘Stanley’ was my favorite. He was funny, kind, and made me feel safe. I remember lighting up every time he came around in his uniform. The uniform that got him killed. When my family was finding their way out of Liberia during the civil war, rebels at a checkpoint stopped him. Recognized as a police officer, he was executed.read more
Amid general pessimism caused by covid-19 crisis, the last few days brought some good news for the Western Balkans, as the European Union (EU) green-lighted the launch of accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia. The long awaited and overdue decision is an indisputable step towards fulfilling the EU aspirations of the Western Balkans, a decision that will definitely inject some optimism in the region. On the other side, such decision heralds the fact that the EU can take strategic decisions, even in the midst of a big crisis, although it did not set a date for the formal start of negotiations, and adds additional conditions for Albania. Another positive signal for the entire region, was the raising of the North Macedonian flag in front of NATO´s Headquarters in Brussels, officially becoming the 30th member of the Alliance. It rewarded the success of the historic Prespa Agreement that solved the 27-year-old name dispute between Athens and Skopje, an example of demonstrated political courage in the region.read more
2020 is the first year of delivery for the EU’s climate ambitions. The European Commission has set itself a goal to tackle climate change with unprecedented urgency and ambition through its European Green Deal plan, at the heart of which is the objective to make the EU climate neutral by 2050. Yet as the EU produces only about 9% of the global greenhouse gas emissions, it is absolutely vital that these ambitions have a strong external element to them as well. The transition must thus be built upon realistic targets and pragmatic diplomatic approach to credibly project the EU’s normative power.read more
During the Cold War, an ever-increasing quantity of nuclear warheads and delivery vehicles determined the strategic parameters of international security. In the 30 years since then, the global nuclear stockpiles have been reduced gradually. This process has, at least for the time being, come to an end with the New START treaty on deployed strategic nuclear weapons. It was signed by the US and Russia in April 2010. Despite its overall success, the prospects for further (nuclear) disarmament are bleak. Instead, we are witnessing an evolving arms race that will, however, differ significantly from the Cold War tradition. Two main issues drive this process.read more
Water is the basis of life. The access, possession and control of water therefore mean power, make it a potential source of conflict. But the hypothesis that as nations run of out of water they may go to war is one-dimensional and linear. It underestimates other factors including how nations operate, what motivates war and the actual cost of war.
Shared water resources i.e. the approximately 276 water bodies, lakes and rivers shared by some 148 countries around the world, are generally seen as issues of potential conflict. Empirical evidence reveals, however, there have been more instances of cooperation than conflict over shared water resources in the past decades. On occasion countries have used their shared water resources to forge ties often leading to cooperation in other spheres as well.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) currently faces the biggest crisis since its inception in 1995. Events that appear as bureaucratic chess games threaten to risk the business rules of major trading nations around the globe. On 11 December, the Appellate Body, the committee dealing with WTO members’ appeals became incapacitated after its membership dropped from three – the minimum to take decisions on cases – to only one remaining adjudicator. New appointments have been blocked by the United States since June 2017. This effectively shuts down the body, because the minimum requirement for any decision is three judges. In a recent move, the U.S. government has placed a veto on any funding for the Appellate Body’s secretariat in Geneva, meaning that it will have to stop operating at the beginning of 2020.read more
Europe’s economic, geopolitical, and climate objectives converge in the current debate over EU energy policy. This was most recently on display at the European Parliament hearing of the Energy Commissioner-designate Kadri Simson on 3 October, during which she...read more
What We Are Watching: “Is NATO Really Worth It?” – A insightfull contribution from LTG Ben Hodges on Transatlantic Relations
On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of NATO, Ben Hodges, together with CEPA, developed a series of videos dealing with transatlantic relations. The Atlantic Community is happy to share these remarkable episodes. Watch the first part "Is Nato really worth...read more
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