In May 2017, former German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and former American Secretary of State Rex Tillerson agreed to hold a Deutschlandjahr in the United States in 2018/2019. The Deutschlandjahr is a program under the competency of the German government, initiated by the Federal Foreign Office and conducted in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut as the project manager, other partner organizations, ministers, foundations, and partners from the economy. The BDI is one of these supporters.
Strengthening German-American Relations
German-American relations are characterized by a strong foundation of common values, interests, traditions, and goals. Our two countries are connected through a centuries-long common history. A strong network and countless shared personal experiences bind our countries together. Bilateral relations with the United States are of unique political, economic, and cultural importance to Germany.
Particularly in trade policy, new challenges have emerged for the transatlantic relationship. Framework conditions for German firms have become more complex. Nonetheless, the United States remains an essential partner and decidedly attractive location for German companies. Mutual interest in cultural cooperation within our societies is growing. This is where the Deutschlandjahr titled “Wunderbar together” comes in. The initiative offers an unparalleled opportunity to remind us of commonalities, as well as the chance to identify opportunities for future cooperation. It can help to convey and cement a positive, modern image of Germany to the United States.
A Modern Image of Germany in the United States
The initiative aims to convey a multifaceted image of Germany in the United States. All areas relevant to society – from culture, business and industry, science, education, civil society, to sports – will be explored. Special visibility will be achieved by consolidating activities and stakeholders and through effective, high-profile formats and targeted media-related efforts. “Wunderbar together” is an invitation for dialogue on topics of mutual interest and concern. Germans and Americans will have the opportunity to discuss our similarities and our differences. Such a dialogue can help to lend new impetus to the transatlantic partnership in all aspects of political, scientific, economic, cultural, and societal life.
The goals of “Wunderbar together” are:
- Invite Americans to experience modern Germany
- Emphasize similarities and celebrate existing ties
- Develop and reach out to new target groups nationwide
- Expand partnerships to resolve future global issues
German business plays an important role in the United States, not just by contributing to economic growth and exports but by creating jobs and teaching skills. German innovation and technology contribute towards sustainable solutions in the United States. “Wunderbar together” is a unique opportunity to highlight the contribution of German business to the economy and society in the United States.