For the Atlantic Academy, 2016 was primarily concerned with the US presidential and congressional elections on November 8. Many of the topics that resulted from these elections flowed into meetings, education, and consultancy. In addition to these complex topics, the Atlantic Academy offered numerous opportunities to develop, exchange and discuss the various aspects of transatlantic relations.
These issues include the American debate on different constitutional rights, the views on the possession of firearms, abortion, the challenges in climate and energy policy, the state of a divided nation during the election and the transatlantic view of social problems such as violence against women. The conference of political scientists in the German Association for American Studies (DGfA), which is traditionally co-organized by the Atlantic Academy, took place this year in Berlin and devoted itself to the growing inequality in the USA.
During 2016, culture also played an important role. For the first time, we organized a Craft Beer Evening. In this short space of time, we were able to bring together Americans with other Americans, and of course Germans. Additionally, we supported the Hunsrueck-Hochwald national park during the organization of its first anniversary, offering a lecture on the national parks in the USA.
Undoubtedly, a highlight of the past year was the celebration of the 20th anniversary oft he Atlantic Academy in the Mainz State Chancellery. During this celebration, we were able to welcome Karsten Voigt, former lecturer and Commissioner for Transatlantic Relations, as well as members of the board. Also in attendance were members of Rhineland-Pfalz State Parliament, former Academy director Wolfgang Toennesmann, former Minister of the Interior and chairperson of the Academy, Karl-Perter Bruch, as well as former Prime Minister of Rheinland-Pfalz, Kurt Beck.
In addition to the successful events, 2016 brought the very sad news of the death of the Atlantic Academy’s founding director, Dr Werner Kremp, on April 1st. With his tireless dedication and wealth of ideas, he has not only laid the foundation for the Academy’s excellent work in its first 14 years, but he also took decisive steps to grow the organization.
We want to continue along this path, especially with the ever changing and growing challenges regarding the USA and transatlantic relations. Be it foreign and security issues or the similarities and differences in the economic, social or, generally speaking, domestic political area.
In the 2016 project year, the Atlantic Academy has carried out 83 projects. These include six Atlantic Forums, 23 workshops, two symposia, an exhibition, numerous seminars, panel discussions and our project “Welcome to Rhineland-Pfalz! Our neighbors from America.“ With this we have reached 4,384 participants.
Without school workshops, 60 projects were carried out this year by the Atlantic Academy. We have once again succeeded in further reducing the individual costs of the projects.
The PfalzAkademie Lambrecht was used twice for our events. In addition to a seminar on the American debate on firearms possession and abortion, we visited with our Summer School in August, as always.
Political education is no longer possible without cooperation and the resulting effects. With more than 48 partnerships, we have designed, organized and implemented many projects this year. As in previous years, the most important partners were the US Consulate General Frankfurt, the Political Science department at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern, the German-American International Women’s Club (DAIFC) Kaiserslautern, the Ingelheim Continuing Education Center and the Europe Direct Information Center Kaiserslautern.
We were able to create four additional partnerships this year, among others, with the Hunsrueck-Hochwald National Park and the “Gründerbüro” of the TU Kaiserslautern.
We also applied for and received grants from the Federal Center for Political Education (BpB) and the Regional Center for Political Education in Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate for 2016. It should be emphasized that the funding by the BpB was significantly increased and was also granted for 2017. In addition, we have been able to obtain a high-end grant from the US Embassy Berlin for projects and infrastructure from October of 2016 to September of 2017. We were particularly pleased to receive a donation from the DAIFC of over 1,000 Euros for our work with youth.