Translated by Amber Streker
For the Atlantic Academy 2015 marked a year of change. In addition to personnel changes, the three pillars on which our work is based, conference, education, and counseling, took on more forms, and with it, new project forms were integrated into our program.
The issues with which we occupied ourselves covered wider and deeper topics. While the NSA scandal took a back seat, especially because of the debate in Germany about the practices of their own intelligence, the negotiations on the transatlantic FTA TTIP remained topical. Likewise, the crisis in Ukraine continued to engage us this year. In the course of the movement of refugees as a result of the civil war both in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, we dedicated ourselves intensely to the matters that came about, including refugee policy, war and peace in and around Europe, and the future responsibility of Germany on in world politics.
Added to this was the central role of the Atlantic Academy in the Transatlantic Conference 2015. The representatives of Rhineland-Palatinate and South Carolina met in Mainz, Kaiserslautern and Koblenz and discussed the various aspects of education policy on both sides of the Atlantic. The conclusion, which was also a highlight of the conference, was the visit and the speech of the Ambassador of the United States of America, John B. Emerson, in the Mainz State Chancellery.
Not only the foreign trade, foreign, and security policy identified the concluding year. Issues such as civil rights in the U.S., the validity of minorities, protest movements such as Black Lives Matter, and the strengthening of sustainable development and environmental protection were also part of the program of the Atlantic Academy.
Be it through possibilities of encounter between Germans and Americans, the extensive range of political education, or consulting work, it was repeatedly clear, through all aspects of our projects, that the importance of the Atlantic Academy for the transatlantic relationship cannot be overestimated.
The creation of new positive memories and connections is even more important in times in which a positive German-American history faces one or other scandal or different points of view, but also as the emerging anti-American sentiment in Germany threatens to fade. Her
„In its diversity and engagement, the Atlantische Akademie has become a symbol of all that the thriving transatlantic community aspires to be in the complex, multipolar world of the 21st century.”
More Diversity - Exciting Projects
The variety of projects has led us to speak of the future not only by events, but rather more so by projects. In addition to our school workshops and exhibitions, internal events and special projects were part of our program.
As of 16 December 2015, the Atlantic Academy has carried out 62 projects this year, including six Atlantic Forums, six workshops, three conferences, two exhibitions, and the special project, Donation Drive "KMC for Refugees.” These events reached 2,972 participants.
The PfalzAkademie Lambrecht was used four times for our events. In addition to a seminar on the current challenges of international security policy, and a seminar on the role of presidential rhetoric, we were welcomed in August for our customary Summer School. In November of this year, the traditional meeting of political scientists of the Deutschen Gesellschaft für Amerikastudien (DGfA) took place in Lambrecht, and dealt with the topic "American Exceptionalism Revisited".
In order to maintain the high quality of our projects and make them accessible to a broad public, close cooperation with reliable partners is necessary.
With more than 44 partners this year, we designed, organized, and carried out projects. Among the main partners are once again the U.S. Consulate General, the Political Science department at the Technical University (TU) Kaiserslautern, the German-American International Women’s Club (GAIWC), the Weiterbildungszentrum Ingelheim, and the Europe Direct Information Center Kaiserslautern.
With the addition of the Wirtschaftsförderung Kaiserslautern, the Lesben- und Schwulenverband, lauterjungs und -mädels Kaiserslautern e.V., the KMC Eagles, the Ruff Ryders, and many others, we have gained a total of 13 new partners since 2014.
In order to offer such a high number of projects at a high level, the acquisition of external funding is essential. We were able to build the State Offices for Political Education in Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate with aid from the Federal Agency for Civic Education, which also supported our Summer School and the political seminar of German and American students. We also received funding from the Lottostiftung Rheinland-Pfalz and the Europe Direct Information Center Kaiserslautern. We were especially pleased to receive a donation of more than 1,500.00 euros, to support the re-creation of our website, from the GAIWC.