What objectives does “Wunderbar together” pursue?
One objective is to showcase Germany as it is today – a modern, innovative, and culturally diverse country. Another is to invite people to engage in a comprehensive dialogue. We intend to interact with people in the United States about important issues for both of our societies. There are many challenges that we face together, including increasing economic inequality, threats posed by war and rearmament, uncontrolled migration, climate change, and the targeted use of misinformation to destabilize democratic systems. “Wunderbar together” is not intended to be limited to a small number of major cities, but will cast a wide net. We intend to encourage a broad-based discussion on the issues that concern us all, and we intend to engage people from coast to coast, all over the country.
Why is now the right time for “Wunderbar together”?
In times of increasing renationalisation and turbulence in the transatlantic relationship, we must rediscover what constitutes our foundation of shared values and our close relationship that stretches back over many decades. We are united by our belief in an open society and a common transatlantic foundation of values, which we must strive to preserve. This is why we intend to send a clear message advocating greater societal exchange and understanding, especially now. The many positive responses already voiced from both sides of the Atlantic show that the Deutschlandjahr USA will be taking place at the right time.
Why is the initiative important for the German Federal Government?
The United States is our most important partner outside Europe, and it is indispensable for resolving many problems around the world. We are looking to engage in discussions at many levels, especially in view of recent developments in the United States. The initiative allows us to reach out to people also beyond traditional channels. We can look back on a long-standing, most successful transatlantic partnership that has withstood periods of crisis – and not only at the governmental level. One in six Americans, or almost 54 million people, have German roots. German companies continue to create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the United States. We cultivate and enjoy an excellent cultural and social exchange – be it through language learning programs or cultural hubs such as the many branches of the Goethe-Institut in the United States, Villa Aurora, and the Thomas Mann House in Los Angeles, to be opened in Los Angeles in 2018. We intend to use “Wunderbar together” to deepen this close economic, cultural, and social cooperation with the United States.